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I recently closed a member's account who had sadly passed a number of years ago retaining the users content. He was a prolific poster with lots of information. I realise this was actually not the best plan as now no one can search for the content using his name as the name is now Guest preceding the old user name. I take this action is now irreversible. I have installed a plugin which allows me to manually change the user posts and have created an account to attribute to him, but there are thousands of posts and this would be a never ending process. Any solutions I am missing would be appreciated.  

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Posted (edited)

Maybe contact the resource author to see if they could do a custom version that will do what you want?

Anyway...as you didn't anonymise attribution when you deleted the user (evidence by you stating it's "Guest preceding the old user name")

If you are talking Forums only, then you're likely going to have to use a SQL query that updates the author_id value in the forums_posts and the starter_id value in forums_topics when the author_name (for forums_posts) and the starter_name (for forums_topics) is the name of user. There may be other areas that need modification too...

I will advise the following:

  1. don't do it if you don't know what you are doing
  2. don't do it if you haven't taken a backup
  3. don't do it on your live site until you've tested it works on a test site
  4. rebuild your search index afterwards.
Edited by Nathan Explosion
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Thanks for the response not going to risk it myself. Main issue seems to be that search does not recognise the guest user name feature for searching is it worth rebuilding the search index or is this still not going to see this information ?

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I know it does not help in this case, but one thing I do on my community is to have a "RIP" member group.  This group has essentially a group with no permission to access/do anything on the site.  It serves a few purposes:

  • Locks down the account in case someone were to hack it, etc.  
  • Preserves the member account for things like search
  • Shows the RIP group as a way to remember/memorialize the lost person so any of their content.
    • You could even choose to highlight posts by this group?
  • Makes it easier for me to remember why something was done earlier (instead of simply banning them).  If they are in RIP, I know exactly what happened.  
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That's the route I have gone down since this happened makes the most sense just wish I had done it earlier. We  learn by our mistakes.



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