Post deletion and resulting collateral damage

I think this is half a moderation question, half a Discourse feature question (and apologies if it’s come up before):

Is it possible to be notified somehow when one’s post gets deleted as a consequence of being a child of a modded post getting deleted? Sometimes I go to look for a post I’ve written and simply can’t find it – when a child of a modded post goes away, it’s like they’ve made a change in the Matrix. The post is gone, notifications are gone from the notification area, post history is gone from the account page… Did I really have a discussion about that topic, or was it all a dream? It can feel a little like Discourse is gaslighting me, which is obviously not the intent.

Anyway, some sort of acknowledgement that a post was disappeared as a result of a mod action against a parent post would be super helpful.


The feature does not currently exist in Discourse; Discourse only notifies the original parent post when flagged.


Comments that disappear as collateral damage remain in your downloadable archive. You can get it by pressing the “Download All” button in your profile’s Activity section

A notice – perhaps containing the text of the deleted comment – would be nice though.


On the one hand it might be nice, but on the other it’s further motivation to not invest time and effort into likely doomed threads.

In the past six years I haven’t said a single thing on this forum about cycling!

Oh, shit!


I have explicitly asked repeatedly for this - in fact, one of the forums I use regularly, as I understand it, passed on Discourse specifically because they don’t have this feature. However, I’ve had no luck successfully lobbying for this automated notification.


Yes! Same reason I’ve stopped talking about ■■■■■!


What’s wrong with a little moist?


I’ve wished for this for years.


On the one hand, the automatic deletion of replies to offending posts does kind of provide incentive to refrain from feeding goblins (I say goblins because, well, you know), but on the other hand, it would be nice to see a note to the effect that this has happened. We get notes when a discussion is moved to a new topic thread, so it seems like it should be technically possible.

It is really unfortunate when Person A (bad actor) posts something bad, and Person B replies to that. Then, when I reply to Person B, and Person C replies to me, all of that gets deleted as well. If it’s possible to salvage subsequent conversations between Persons B, C and me, especially when they have gotten far away from the original nonsense from Person A, it would be nice to do so, though I imagine that this would mean more work for the mods, so it’s perhaps not worth pressing.


It’s simply too moist for mere mortals.




Our concern is that this (notification of deletion due to cascading mod actions; the mod deletes the parent comment) will lead to increased mod interaction + workload because of the human propensity to loss aversion.

I can ramp it up in our priority list if y’all feel that won’t be the case.


As long as the notification text makes it clear that the deletion was collateral damage from a flagged post being deleted I’m sure most people won’t complain. Providing the text of the deleted comment in the notice, as is the case when a flagged post is wiped, would also be nice in the case that someone put a lot of effort into a reply. The final decision on the devs’ priority list goes to the mod and site owners, of course.


That already happens with the deletion notifications, thankfully.

Well not really, that decision comes down to what the Discourse team wants to do :slight_smile:

As I said, I personally think it would be useful, it just needs to be clearly worded. Something like “Your post was deleted because the post it was replying to was deleted. Here is the post content for reference” would probably be enough, I think.


Incidentally, I don’t recall offhand what happens to the children of author-deleted posts? Do they stay? I don’t think this necessarily informs how mod-deleted posts should be handled if they do stay, but if they did disappear, similar messaging would be useful.


Does it always? I’ve been in at least one conversation where someone prompted a response from YT, and I probably knew better than to engage, but when I went back later it was like scorched earth… I had an angry email from the OP in my inbox, which may or may not have prompted the erasure, but when I looked back here on bbs a bunch was gone and I didn’t have any email notification that things I’d posted had been deleted. Nor any text from said deletions
To be clear, overall the, erm, extraction, has seemed beneficial overall. But I never got a notice that things I’d posted were removed as collateral damage.
(Not criticizing, just clarifying.)


as someone else noted in this thread or another similar one, if you made a reply to a comment that gets deleted it will often be deleted as well and that will get no notification.


I think @orenwolf means that mod-deletion of the offending post triggers a deletion notification to that user. The missing piece that I brought up originally was all the children of the offending post, which just evaporate into the ether.


Yes, I think I misinterpreted @gracchus ’s post as being about all the “fallout” deletions, which is what I was responding to a (misinterpreted) response to.
Thank you :pray:


They do. Otherwise, we would be allowing users to delete the posts of others, which would be uncool.

Correct, sorry for the confusion. If a post is flagged then removed, it triggers a notification (but not for child replies (“collateral damage”), which is the issue IMHO).