Allow only (x) consecutive replies in the same topic

I am often (too often) in the situation of having to merge more than one user’s consecutive replies and I often find myself responding “this is a forum, not a chat :rage:, don’t hit the reply button each row you write”.

This is a bad behavior in a forum and I would personally prefer if users were allowed a number of consecutive replies limited by site settings or category settings (at least up to TL 3).

In this way users are forced to learn how to use forum tools properly, leaving the moderators free to do much more useful work.

A user trying to respond consecutively the second, third or fourth time will see a pop up that say

“No more than x consecutive replies are allowed. Edit your previous reply instead or wait for someone to answer you”.

Note that newuser max replies per topic and sequential replies threshold are different site settings from what I have proposed.
The first is specific only to new users (and not for consecutive replies), the second shows only a warning but does not prevent the publication of consecutive replies.

EDIT: maybe a setting by category rather than a global site setting could be much more useful.


You would probably want to allow consecutive replies to different people. For example… Handling trolls with multiple accounts over VPNs


I completely agree with @Dax

This is going to be an excellent feature - if implemented.

My discourse site is for “Students” and a good percentage of folks post messages as if they are on chat. And one of the tasks that keep the mods busy in my site is “merging consecutive posts”. So, if this feature as proposed by @Dax is implemented its going to be awesome.


Perhaps we just add a very simple site setting that forces people to edit last post IF last post is still editable and owned by them. Apply only to topics, not messages.

This can be opt in per site. It would be very safe and have no terrible fail modes where last post is no longer editable and mods keep on getting contacted via flags.

@codinghorror should we slot something for 2.2?


Yeah I do think this would be a useful setting. I will add to 2.2 release topic.


Would it complicate things a lot to check if the last x posts are owned by the user?

My thinking is that it sometimes does make sense to post a second consecutive reply, e.g. when it’s important that a message/notification gets sent out or where you reply to two different aspects of the topics and want to make it easier for the topic to be split.

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Could we design it so you can’t reply to the Topic more than X times but this is not enforced if you reply to individual posts explicitly using the individual posts’ reply buttons?

That would be a good compromise, no?

Part of the justification would be that splitting up a single post by quoting individuals is a lot more complex a task for a new user than simply hitting the reply button of each post you wish to respond to. It’s also much more tricky to quote from multiple posts on mobile.

I see many justified cases of users replying individually to several different people in a row.

I don’t really agree with this being a default on setting, I think it is optional and highly targeted at specific communities.

I think making this too flexible here is not ideal for a few reasons.

Say we add a setting for max_consecutive_replies and tie that to trust_level we would totally lock off certain responses once the edit window is over, this is a pretty harsh default.

Renaming the setting to max_consecutive_replies_unless_outside_of_edit_window is going to be a nightmare to communicate.

I prefer to keep this very simple for now… a setting for “if user can edit last post, make them edit the last post”, default off.


I didn’t mean to imply that it should be default on. My thinking was rather: if a specific community (e.g. the one @dax mentioned in the OP) decides they need to turn turn this on because of certain users, chances are it will affect the experienced/well behaved users negatively that they used before. The simplicity of the setting comes at a price, so I thought this could be solved by allowing x consecutive replies. Another possibility could be to enforce edit last post only for certain TLs or a specific group. (I didn’t understand this:


This is still scheduled for the 2.2 release!


Would replies by email be exempt?

Use case: some members in our forum will reply by email in bursts (on the weekend, for example). They may reply to posts #1, #3, and #7, but their replies are added sequentially in the topic, i.e. #10, #11, and #12.


This is now in and complete, default on with a value of 3, so it triggers on the ** fourth consecutive reply**.


Is this supported? It is super annoying when a forum rejects the incomming email. :slight_smile:

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Unlikely, since the same logic would apply. Feel free to modify the site setting as needed for your site.

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3 looks like a good default.

I challenge this.

I actually encourage my users to post individual replies as these are easier to move. If a user (or I) merges replies to two or more different users you can end up with a post that you can’t split into a new Topic if they start to diverge in subject matter. One to keep an eye on.

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While translating I began wondering this:

No more than 1 reply is allowed. Please edit your previous reply instead, or wait for someone to reply to you.

Shouldn’t this be something like “Consecutive replies aren’t allowed”?


Yeah, I see your point, technically they are not consecutive yet but they would be with the next one which is disallowed. So I’ll add that.


I would like to see this feature extended, just a bit. Maybe by allowing mods/admins to define the consecutive replies pr. categori, each post maybe, or… by trustlevel, or… maybe even whitelist specific users.

Will that require a lot of time?

Example/Our case:
We have a few topics, where the same user are posting often - and there it’s OK. But he’re forced to make edits, after hitting the limit. However, no users are receiving notifications, if he’s forced to edit the last post, instead of creating a new :slight_smile:

Change the topic owner to that user, using the admin wrench to target the first post. When you are the topic owner you are immune to this rule.


Oh, i didn’t know that. Actually the user was the owner of the topic - but i’m not sure if it’s before our migration to Discourse, or not. So, i’ve changed the ownership to my account, and back to his. Hopefully it works, as expected.

Thanks for the tip! :smile:

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