Can't delete a Topic I created


Trust increases when you post or start a new topic, like karma on stackoverflow. Probably increases for other stuff too, but there’s no set list.



I would suggest 2-5 minutes. 1 is actually really small when you think about it.

1 Like

(Jeff Atwood) #9

For now, flagging is the only way, but see:

1 Like

(Jeff Atwood) #12

Deleting a topic is a bit more sensitive than deleting a post.

For now, deleting a post simply inserts

(removed by author)

as an edit revision to the post.

This is awkward for a topic since if the topic doesn’t exist, nobody knows what they should be replying to, exactly… and that means it might be safe to truly delete the topic if there are no replies, however, this is also a great way to grief the forum, by posting and then self-deleting a bunch of topics that magically disappear before anyone can complain about them…

So it’s tricky.


(Josiah Sprague) #13

What do you mean by “grief the forum”? It seems to me that more “grief” is caused by creating a bunch of empty posts or topics that just say “removed” than by allowing someone to completely remove something that is incorrect, mistaken, outdated or otherwise regretted.


(Sam Saffron) #14

Well trolls come in many flavours, keeping these stubs around helps keep everyone in check. If you see a lot of stubs from Johnny, well you can flag him.

Keep in mind, deleting is a huge outlier. For example, out of my 610 posts here I deleted exactly 0.

We are not seeing any real world problems with our current design so I see not point in “fixing” it.


(Jeff Atwood) #15

It’s perfectly fine to flag a topic for moderator attention with a comment, if you truly need the topic deleted. That should cover most cases without any risk of abuse.

For example, if I delete my topic with 5 replies, what happens to those 5 replies? Did I have the right to remove those? Is it cool to have a topic that says (deleted) with 5 replies to… nothingness? Wouldn’t that be annoying for readers, replyers, pretty much everyone that encountered the topic?

Lots of ways self-deletion of topics can go wrong.


(I prefer anonymity. ) #23

I’m not a regular around here, but I have found this issue frustrating as well.

While yes, it can go both ways of topic posting and deletion abuse, It is really inconvenient to not be able to delete your own topic occasionally.

Maybe something can be done to limit abuse? Something that can, within reason, be done without requiring the attention, therefore creating additional work for moderators?

Surely a solution can be created that would be a net benefit here?


(Rob Nicholson) #24

+1 for the idea of being able to delete one’s own posts within a short time of being created and as long as nobody else has replied. I’m doing lots of test posts on our new Discourse system and have to keep asking the moderator to remove. And I don’t want to be a moderator as I’m using the system from a normal user’s point of view.


(James Poulson) #26

One perfectly valid reason is to decide fusing the content of two posts according to a common theme and to avoid seeming spam.

So a second post becomes redundant.


(Joshua Rosenfeld) #27

I could definitely see deleting one’s own post with the following criteria as being a reasonable option:

  • Within ninja edit window (as defined in site settings)
  • No replies
  • No likes
  • No flags (this could be trickier, as flags aren’t visible to users).

(Patrick Burrows) #28

I just found this thread via a google search on how to delete a post I accidentally made on a different forum.

In this case, as soon as I hit “send” I realized I didn’t want to post at all on this account (I was logged in via a company account in another forum vs my own account).

A grace period (say 60-120 seconds) where you can freely delete your post when you realize you just made a mistake would be very helpful for these situations.


(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #29

You can delete posts, this topic is about deleting topics.


(Patrick Burrows) #30

I meant topic. I apologize for my lack of pedantry.


(Jeff Atwood) #31

It has been discussed at quite some length already, feel free to refer to previous discussions. The potential for griefing is extreme.


(Patrick Burrows) #32

What about this suggestion (I hadn’t seen it mentioned before):

A grace period (say 60-120 seconds) where you can freely delete your post when you realize you just made a mistake would be very helpful for these situations.

(and by “post” I meant “topic”)


(Sam Saffron) #33

Its is super complicated and possibly impossible to seal that to abuse.

Think about it this way, with this rule in play, what kind of havoc could you wreak on forums? What kind of new edge cases need to be handled (what if someone replies during grace period, what if they like, what if its flagged)


(Patrick Burrows) #34

My answer is if it is within the grace period, all that stuff goes away (any comments, any likes or whatever). We’re talking about a couple minutes here, tops. There isn’t much havoc to be had. I don’t see how it can be abused.

Are you thinking people could create and delete a ton of topics over and over again? Sort of like a DoS attack? Other than incrementing primary keys in the DB, that doesn’t seem very problematic (and easy to stop).

Most people would never even know it is happening.


(Kieren Johnstone) #35

So I just accidentally posted some security credentials in a new topic for a product forum I’m asking for help on.

I edited it out, but it’s public in the edit history. I flagged it, but no admin has responded yet.



(Sam Saffron) #36

Oh … you CAN NOT trust a deletion here, that is a very very bad thing to do. You must change your creds ASAP.

The page may already be archived in or several other places.