As we promised in our last post, in the Facebook group and elsewhere on social media: we've fulfilled one of our New Year's resolutions by getting rid of user accounts that were considered "squatters".

What are "squatter" accounts?

A quick look online reveals the following definition of a squatter:

A person who settles in or occupies property with no legal claim to the property. A squatter is one who resides on a property to which he or she has no title, right or lease.

Here on Swapfig it's not quite that draconian. A "squatter" account is simply an inactive user account that was barely used to begin with, as defined by the last login date and the number of logins.

Squatter accounts were created en masse when Swapfig was first launched as a way to "reserve" usernames, but we also suspect that Bad Traders create[d] them to circumvent our House Rules.

Why were squatter accounts removed?

As mentioned before: the decision was made to remove these squatter accounts, not only to remove redundant information, but because we want to focus on those who actually use the site.

As a result of the purge, over 2,000 user accounts - over half of the total user count - were removed.

What we could have done better.

Despite mentioning it in our last news post, on Facebook and elsewhere, as you'd expect we've been emailed by people who've had their accounts deleted. It 's brought to light that owners of "squatter" accounts wouldn't have seen any of our announcements - because they don't use Swapfig!

The better thing to do would have been to email those users instead, warning them that their account would have been deleted. We're not sure if this would have prevented the complaints anyway, but it would have been far better than nothing.

Oversights like this can happen and have happened before. We recommend following @Swapfig on Twitter, where immediate site announcements are posted on our feed.

If you've been evicted...

Provided you haven't previously been banned, just create another user account. As with users who've left Swapfig, you won't be able to use or reclaim your previous username.