How come most sites can get away with such crappy treatment of users?

The NYTimes wrote a little while back about how hard it is to delete an account on most social networks and web services. I got to be a voice of dissent (and reason):

Still, not every site takes the “Never Gonna Give You Up” approach. Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of the social news site Reddit, said that if users wanted to delete an account, “they should be able to do that as easily as they signed up.”

“It puts the onus on us to keep delivering a great product, and not retaining users simply because they can’t find the exit,” he said.

But really, why are sites like reddit the exception, not the rule? How valuable can 'trapped' users be? How much are you slacking on your product and business because you don't have to keep earning that user?

Surprise shoutout from Irina Pavlova of @BrooklynNets front office

(translated thanks to Google, but not perfectly!)

Q: Jay-Z announced that it was selling its stake in the Brooklyn Nets. Who can become the owner?

A: It is still unknown. Jay-Z to sell his share, as he wants to become a sports agent, and by the rules of NBA, can not be involved in a team. The other day, a young internet millionaire, who founded the company Reddit, said he wanted to buy his share, which would continue the good tradition of our brightest owners.

So awesome. Thanks, Irina. I sure hope everything works out.

I'm still getting over last night's loss, but it was a hell of a season and '13 is going to be even better! Good luck the rest of the way, Chicago.