There are at least four huge areas to consider here, they are privacy implications, legal implications, moral implications, and technical implications. I was pointing out some of the technical implications of a one-click account delete. This was allowed on Ning back in the day and I had one member of my community who got pissed off when I sent a private message to tone down the rhetoric towards other members – and they deleted their account and along with it every bit of useful content (original posts, comments, and photos) they contributed over the course of several years. If there were comments to an original post then the contributions of others were also deleted. I was able to retrieve a private stash of most of the content via the Wayback machine so, yeah, there’s that to consider in this context.
When I moved over to Jamroom one of the things I liked was the granularity of the ACL with respect to permissions that extended from privacy/visibility to email and I would recommend anyone examine them as a part of any discussion with respect to account deletion.
What I would like is the ability to set an account to inactive and make the status available to third-party programs like Cove who could then anonymize any contributions they made. This would ensure that any replies to comments were not un-parented and that the context for the reply would remain.
On the overarching philosophical point, I believe that the precise implementation of answers to the moral and legal questions should belong in the hands of the publisher rather than Ghost, whose role should be to facilitate. I will argue for a granular approach to permissions that would enable me to decide how I want to handle things. (What this suggests is that if there is a “delete” button on the Account page that there be a modal dialog with customizable text that explains what will happen, and importantly, clicking on delete should trigger an event (or events) that notify/ies admins either in the UI or by email or both. From hard experience, I can tell you I have found value in anonymizing UGC and keeping it around for a variety of reasons rather than outright deleting it. It’s been hugely valuable to me over the course of over 13 years of moderating my community on what is now four platforms.