Deleted posts on forum

To dCS admin,
Wouldn’t it be better for forum users if deleted posts were in fact deleted?

Let’s say someone has an emotional reaction, writes something they regret, then immediately deleted it.
Should this brief transgression be memorialized on the forum forever? I think not.

Here is an example (not of an emotional reaction). What is the reason for making this deleted post visible to all? Can settings be changed?


Deleted posts are currently visible for 24 hours after the poster deletes them, and will be permanently deleted after that. This is the default way the forum platform operates - it can be changed to an instant deletion if that is what forum users would prefer.

1 Like

I am inclined to support immediate deletion. Thanks for the suggestion Richard.


I want to put in a caveat against immediate deletion. It can cause unwanted situations.

  1. A topic can get incomprehensible if at a later stage certain posts disappear, making the replies after them look strange, or irrelevant.

  2. If a OP deletes the opening post, the whole topic will be deleted, also deleting the following posts by others. Worst case: a long time member leaves after a fight, and will be able to delete all his topics, pruning the community for a large part.

  3. Posts might get deleted at a later time, and when they were being linked to in another topic, it will make the community forum look messy.

A compromise could be: Immediate deletion is possible only when there is no reply yet, or, only within a set time, e.g. 30 minutes, after posting.

I agree with adding immediate deletion. There’s nothing like making a stoopid comment, immediately realizing it, and then having it out there for a day.


Not sure how any of that is different. Just happens 24 hours later now. Those problems still exist. Unless I am missing something.

Thanks for the feedback folks. I can also make the change so that any edit history on comments is not visible, so if you do make a hiccup on a comment it can be edited and nobody will be able to see the edit history (the current behaviour is that it is visible by all users. which is the forum default). Private edit history and immediate deletion may be a good answer here.

Lets try this another way though to be sure, I’ll run this for a few days and action based on what people would like to happen.

When a post is deleted by a user, how soon should the post be permanently removed?

  • Immediately
  • 1 hour
  • 1 day
  • Other (please list below)

0 voters

Should the edit history of a post be visible to all users, or only visible to the OP?

  • Visible to all users
  • Only visible to OP

0 voters


The difference is that the community admins will have 24 hours time to prevent damage, against not at all. Hard delete is permanent.

You can always edit your post, in case you regret it.

I know you can edit, but right now, everyone can see the edit and share in your self-reflection. :wink: At a minimum, I think we need to get rid of that.

But I’m still not seeing the damage you articulate Erno. These sound like speculative corner cases to me. How does an admin “prevent damage” when a post is deleted?

1 Like

If it is soft deleted, and in case of mass deletion which will harm the community, the deleted items still are in the database, and can be restored within the expiration of the 24 hours.

There are many topics about this on the various Discourse communities. Discourse is the community software used here. The admins discussing there at least acknowledge it is not about speculative corner cases.

I have seen several forums collapse in the past 25 years because of a not well thought-out hard delete policy.

Yeah, I am familiar with Discourse. Hey, I respect whatever decision the admins make here. I still like the hard delete myself, perhaps because I presume good intent among this community, and I understand why some folks might not want others to see what they are deleting. Concomitant oh, I also support private edit. Both seem to me to address different facets of this issue. Seems to me one way to address that is to not allow hard delete after a period of time. That would prevent an angry departing member from trashing the forum.

1 Like

And there we meet!

Agreed, though I’d be inclined to to give more than thirty minutes. No real harm if there’s been no reply.

So that would look like:

  1. Immediate deletion is always possible as long as there is no reply yet
  2. If there is already a reply, deletion anyway is still possible, but only within x minutes after the original posting, where x still has to be determined here.
  3. Within these x minutes, also the editing history is deleted

Actually, I think once there is a reply, no immediate deletion. At least, that’s what I meant. Private edit can solve that person’s goal.

Thank you for your response and for putting this matter to the forum James. RK

1 Like

A little contrarian, but I vote for keeping it as is, or at the most, deleting posts only after an hour, but edits remain visible to the public; IMHO, if it’s too easy to immediately delete/hide what was written, transparency is lost and quality will generally go down. Posts ought to be well considered.


Hi James,
This matter appears to be settled.

James is away in Singapore at the moment but he is aware of the thread and its contents … I’m sure that he’ll do something when he’s back.




Apologies for the delay. I have closed the polls and as the very large majority voted for immediate deletion and private edit history, I’ve actioned those.

By and large the quality of conversation in this forum is really high, but I would encourage folks to take a read of the forum FAQs, and if a thread deviates from that let one of the Moderators or Admins know. We want to keep the standard of conversation high, and anything we can do to help with that just let us know.