For the record, I will take some of the blame too, Jwein is correct that the button itself isn't clearly labelled (it says nothing about deleting forum posts) which has led to some confusion as you can see. I am the Moderator that used it most often as it was originally only set up to delete spam accounts.
So I'll take some of the blame for not making it clear to my fellow Moderators what exactly the button does and when to use it.
In the case of John, it was a simple mistake, Jwein has explained well enough himself but I don't consider it a massive one since...John did request a perm and it wasn't like a "I need a break" but a "Fuck you" so I mean...Yeah.
As I've mentioned, Talon has now restricted it to Head Mods only, which is always the way Talon intended it to be but it was created in cooperation with myself so we assume (since I wasn't Head Mod) it was accidentally open to all Moderators.
We'll make sure this doesn't happen again and hopefully improve the implementation, I will say the issue of the thread counts being messed up is a minor issue though which is automatically fixed by opening the thread a few times.
I've also had a chat with Machina & TalonMan and Talon wants to be clear that it was never intended to be used for anything other than spam accounts, so NightlyPoe for now will remain the only requested deletion and we're putting a pause on requested deletions, the reason for this is a more technical one, there's concerns expressed by Talon regarding how it works on regular users.
He also would like if such a feature existed in the future for it to be implemented better, such as letting users delete themselves and changing it from deleting posts to replacing them with "Account Deleted" but it will be a huge feature and Talon is very busy, it also honestly isn't our issue, we don't own the site.
The feature will still be used on spam accounts, that isn't changing, even if they post in threads, that is simply something you'll have to deal with, a feature to allow account deletion may return in the future but it won't be the same one we use for spam deletion.
I have emailed Jlaruo to see if he can restore John's post history.
Thanks for this.
I remembered seeing it first with John. I thought he was banned for repeated blatant racism, rather than a requested ban. I didn't care enough about the user and didn't disagree with the ban itself so never brought it up at the time. But I assumed that was the method of perma-banning people, that all of their posts would be deleted and I thought it set a bad precedent for the future. So then when I logged in yesterday and saw a thread with - posts it raised those concerns again.
I think Talon's idea for replacing posts with "account deleted" would be a much better implementation too. I'd still rather it not be done, but if it was only at user's request as you've said then I'd have no reason to complain about it.
I don't care so much about it being used on spam bots, so I can deal with that. Was just worrying to think the mod team had changed direction to permanently remove all posts fo those they banned. I'm glad to see the few instances of that weren't intentional and that that's not what the mod team is doing.