"This post will self-destruct shortly...": automated security changes
People commonly make public posts which they do not wish to remain public indefinitely. An additional field at posting ("Change security [...] to [...] when [...] (has/have) elapsed") would remove the need to remember to make the manual change at a later date.
I repeatedly come across cases where people make a post with the specific intention of subsequently changing its visibility, for example:
(1) person with username A changes it to B. They want to flag this up to their subscribers, without creating a permanent trivially-findable public record. They make a public posting, intending to manually restrict access to said post after a week. Memory proves to be a tricksy beast, however.
(2) person wants their "current" entries to be public - on a rolling basis. That is, they *don't* want their entire journal to be public, but *do* want their initially-set-as-public posts over the last N weeks to be generally visible.
(3) person is making a links round-up (LRU); realises they've left out a link; edits the original post to include it. In order to flag this up to people who've already read the LRU and won't read closely again, they make a follow-up post to appear on people's dwrolls, highlighting that they've added a new link, with the intention of deleting the follow-up post after a few hours (at which point it is obsolete, because people who're only just catching up with their reading lists won't have seen the pre-edit LRU anyway!)
In each of these cases, it would be helpful if there were the option tree at point of posting:
Change security at later date? Y/N
Change security to? [pre-defined set of access filters, etc!]
Change security when? [hours, days, weeks...]
... such that in case:
(1) person, at time of posting, can say "make this post access-locked after a week"
(2) user can set a default behaviour of "increase privacy of all posts to [LEVEL] after a month" (where custom filters, etc obviously don't have their privacy level *reduced*!)
(3) user can make the post automatically set itself private e.g. 6 hours after initially posting
In IRC we briefly discussed the possibility of actual self-destruct - i.e. automatic deletion after a set time frame - but consensus there was that auto-deletion is an undesirable behaviour, because (a) deletion is irreversible, and (b) setting posts to private has the same effect on the reader as deleting them.
In terms of downsides, the only one that springs out at me is that - at least for my level of familiarity with the code-base - this would be an absolute *swine* to implement. However, I am very open to hearing other criticisms :-)
Should be implemented as-is.
Should be implemented with changes. (please comment)
Shouldn't be implemented.
(I have no opinion)
(Other: please comment)