Allow user to edit post that is older than the allowed edit time


(Joshua Rosenfeld) #1

Continuing the discussion from A plugin for adding layout classes to post elements:


So this comes up every so often on Meta - a user creates a topic, some time passes, discussion resumes months later, now the user is no longer able to edit the OP. The current solution tends to be a moderator making the OP a wiki.

This solution works well here on Meta, and I’ve yet to see any issues with it. However, this solution is not ideal on other sites. Making the post a wiki allows any user to edit it. In the linked topic example, the post in question is the description of a plugin. If user A made a plugin, user C shouldn’t have the ability to edit the post, just so user A can do so.

Proposed Solution

Create staff feature to remove the edit time limit from an individual post. This would be located in the wrench menu just like wiki, and would simply allow the owner of the post to edit the post ignoring the edit time limit site setting. In the same manner, the button would then be used to re-enable the site-setting edit time limit.

(Sam Saffron) #2

I don’t mind this, thought is a pretty advanced edge case.

Regardless it is kind of nice to show mods when a post is “locked for editing” and this could show up in the “Admin” drawer.

(Joshua Rosenfeld) #3

Very much agreed on the edge case here. We avoid this at Stonehearth by allowing edits without a time limit, but it would be nice to be able to have a reasonable default limit, and them lift it where needed, versus the current catch-all site-setting option.

(Anton) #4

In our community, there is an “animal database”, where each animal is represented by a separate topic.

The first post of such a topic is very important - it should contain the up to date summary for the animal - dob, date of removal/selling, links to kids etc.

I would use this feature to allow topic authors to be able to edit the first post of their topics. It would be useful to set this per-category. Basically just a boolean checkbox or an override for per-site setting. Would be very helpful if we were able to configure it for the first post of a topic only. But even allowing edits of all posts regardless of their age in an entire topic would work as well.

(The Godfeather) #6

This would be extremely useful on the Choice of Games forum.

In our WIP category, users frequently need to edit the first post of their own topics with updates. Some users just start a new topic instead of contacting a moderator which leaves discussions of their games fragmented into multiple different topics which is less than ideal for us. We moderators do tend to switch the posts to wiki format when asked but it’s less than ideal. We only want the original poster to be able to edit the post.

I’m admittedly worried that one day someone will go on a rampage and vandalise all the wiki posts, although it hasn’t happened yet, thankfully.

We’ve had situations of users going back and deleting all of their posts which they can, which is why I’d be wary of suggesting that we remove the time limits on all posts.

(Jeff Atwood) #7

I do not see any value in this request; it solves zero cases that wiki does not already work for.

(Sam Saffron) #8

Thing is, if this does start happening the OP is notified on every edit, they can flag and you can ban.

I suspect that this is why it is never abused.

(Joshua Rosenfeld) #9

This is where my concern lies as well. While I understand where Sam is coming from, I don’t like the idea of relying on the OP to receive edit notifications and alert staff. In the current system, once a post is wiki-ed, it’s wiki-ed forever. As such, (using my example from above), a user may be working on a plugin for a long time the post is made a wiki to allow further edits, but eventually the user stops working on the plugin and is no longer active. Some time later the post gets vandalized. That user might see an email and report it, or they may have left the community, changed emails, no longer care, etc.

This just seems to me as leaving a potential avenue open for attack. After what happened at Stonehearth last year, (exploiting post edits to avoid spam checks), I don’t like the idea of giving more people edit rights on a post than are needed, and still nearly a year after I started this topic feel is an important feature.

(The Godfeather) #10

That requires the original poster to be an active participant in the forum, and online at the time the vandalising is happening. We must then rely upon them catching and reporting the issue. It’s a lot of steps.

I’ve been assuming the reason we’ve not had any issues is just because the trolls we’ve had haven’t realised that they can do a lot of damage that way. I’ve seen the sort of damage that one person intent on trolling can do on a wiki, particularly if it’s at a time that no moderators are around. I’d a friend with a password protected wiki, and a member got disgruntled, waited until no wiki moderators were around and went on a destruction spree. It was really, really frustrating and annoying to clean up afterwards. Now admittedly that wasn’t with Discourse.

It just seems really insecure the way things are currently. We’ve forum members who don’t want their posts made wiki either, or who want it switched to wiki format and then switched back. Or who wont ask moderators to let them edit a post, and so instead decide to just start a new topic every time they have something to add to their initial post.

There’s a remove wiki option. We have some forum users ask us to make a post wiki so they can edit it, and then ask us to remove the wiki so that no one else can.