Replies disappearing

I feel a bit awkward writing this but I want this to be known because it could be something administrative or it could just be a Discourse bug.

Over the past month or so, at least twothree posts I’ve made to various threads have been deleted and to be very clear, it wasn’t me that initiated the delete. I don’t think the posts I made were particularly offensive and certainly didn’t breach the code of conduct (as far as I know at least) but nevertheless they vanished without a trace.

For instance in this thread:

I made a few replies. None were particularly inflammatory – I was debating a couple of points with @jonathan_colvin and in one post I asked if he was trolling or serious. All of my posts to that thread appear to be purged (to be fair, it looks like that thread has been pretty surgically purged since yesterday – but this was before that happened).

I’ve also had a non-zero amount of instances where I posted something only to see it disappear a few minutes/hours later but I don’t recall the exact thread. One time when I saw this, I later posted to the thread stating my previous post had been deleted and it looks like that post was deleted as well.

I have no problems with posts that are obviously inflammatory or in bad faith being deleted but it would also be nice to have a bit of transparency.

Am I just making too much out of nothing? Am I just bumping into a bug that’s lighting up conspiracy theories?


that would be the dragon cleaning up replies to the flagged original post.


Try using the “download your posts” button. Disappeared comments should show up in that file. If they are not there, then it’s more likely to be a bug.

I must say, I’m not a fan of unpublishing comments. I would rather see a placeholder if they have to be deleted.

I’d also like dictatorial mod powers for myself, but I also know that I would abuse them right away.


I don’t think it’s just you.

One specific example is a post I made in reply to jlw regarding the new Ghostbusters previews:

I responded, basically telling Jason that he doesn’t and no one expects him to, but we’re all still entitled to our own opinions.

And although that comment was well within the parameters of acceptability on the BBS, somehow it just ‘magically’ went “poof.”

Now, I don’t know if that was some kind of glitch or if I unknowingly broke some rule.

What I do know is that it made me somewhat reticent to engage jlw directly anymore or to comment on his posts.

Also the aspect ratio on my initial comment on that post is still severely skewed, so something hinky is definitely afoot…


Good idea. I’ll give that a try.

My posts from yesterday that were deleted are showing up in my exported posts.

A couple of other posts I made a month or two ago that went *poof* (including one where I specifically called out my previous post disappearing) aren’t showing up.

The plot thickens.

1 Like

The topic of “how should people get feedback on removed posts” has never been resolved:

Still, when taking the obvious risk of replying to a particularly trolly new user – if your post gets removed, do you really not know why?

Don’t feed the trolls, man!

And yes, thanks for the reminder @purplecat you can always check your full post history this way – all your posts will be there, no matter what.





This is why there needs to be better feedback on removed posts - not for the wading into dangerous waters posts, but for the “which toe of which high muckity-muck did I step on?” posts.


What about a mandatory “reason” text box for removals on accounts over a certain level? That reason could then show up in the history attached to the removed comment.

Swatting down new spammers/trolls shouldn’t require a reason, but for regulars who invest their time in the community it would be nice to know so we can address our offensive behavior or choose to disengage.


When a mod removes a trollcomment and all of the posts replying to it, it avoids derailing the topic, but it also takes real users’ otherwise positive contributions and dustbins them as well.

What about adding the ability for the mod to fork the replies to a locked, linked topic so that it’s still viewable without encouraging more back-and-forth?

1 Like

I want to note in the cause I noted in the first post, I wasn’t engaging a troll or new user. The user was expressing controversial (at best) and possibly offensive positions. The posts were deleted and some of my replies were caught in the dragnet. It would have been nice to know this happened.

There have been other cases of posts going poof but this seems like it may be a bug more than anything. Next time I see that happen I’ll try to get as many details as possible.


This is only tangentially related, but I didn’t want to post about it in the thread in question. I just popped in to the “USA Swimming bans Brock Turner for life” thread to see new replies, and the first thing I saw was “You flagged this post as inappropriate” on a post by Melizmatic. I did? I was a bit tipsy last night, but . . . ? Looks like it’s not possible to unflag posts.


You should be able to unflag posts. Maybe you hit a bug?


The text is blue and acts like a link when I hover over it, but nothing happens when I click. Weird! @Melizmatic, if you got notification of a flag on your totally innocuous post–sorry!



No worries.


Seriously though how often does this happen? There’s been a blanket policy of “stuff may be removed at the complete discretion of the BB editors” for, like, forever.

In that specific case I can’t speak for the editor in question, but I’ve been known to complain about excessive use of GIFs for responses in the past, and I do wish people would sometimes cough tone it down a bit with the GIF replies in favor of actual substantive responses using typed letters and words and sentences and paragraphs and stuff.

(Granted I was too cranky in that topic, and I belatedly apologize to @Mindysan33 for my crankiness, but the point is one I will Courage Wolf on, if pressed. GIFs are fun, and all, but everything in moderation.)


I don’t know. You’re the one with behind-the-scenes access, you should be telling us.

From this side of the curtain it seems that it happens just often enough that it’s causing people to hesitate before engaging in conversation, which I kind of think is a bad thing.

A bit of thread necromancy here.


Note that the linked reply that I posted that those two posts referenced is gone. It looks like a whole chunk of posts between #144 and #147 are gone.

I know I didn’t delete my posts and I don’t recall seeing anything in violation of community rules.

What happened here?