Editing a single post topic should not count as activity

After migrating an existing forum over to discourse, I am now spending time correcting and re-organizing some of the categories. To my chagrin this causes old and inactive discussions to shoot to the top of the Latest and Categories views. I recommend a feature change:

An administrator or moderator correcting a title or category assignment should not IMHO count as “activity” which causes the topic to shoot to the top of the Latest and Categories views.

The current behavior is surfacing ancient topics as seeming to have recent activity when the actual discussion has not actually had any activity.

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Note that TL3s can do this too, and it only puts it at the top if there have been no replies.

More specifically: editing the last post in the thread bumps the thread; editing the title or category is an edit on the first post.

Also, it won’t matter once you start having real activity. They’ll be naturally buried.

Thanks riking. Knowing the logic is helpful. Alas, I still have a bunch of single post topics to move around :pensive:. So, even for single post topics, I submit that re-categorizing should not bump the topic.


This only happens if your “topic” only has a single post. It is considered an edit to the “last post” which does bump a topic.

So it is kind of a specialized problem – why do you have so many topics that only have a single post? That’d be my first question, discussion topics consisting of a single post are not much of a discussion :wink:

Announcements, for one.

And if someone wants to edit the title, or close the topic, long after the announcement has served its purpose, it’s completely worthless to bump it to the top of /latest. :sadpanda:

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Well if the announcement is that old, why does it still exist? Why does it need editing?

You could mark it unlisted.

(Also closing it would not bump it, this is incorrect.)

True, Unless the closing post is edited

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Because now we have tags … we can remove the “tags” from the topic title strings and add the tag to associate them together. :wink:

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I am experiencing this as well.

I’m migrating a forum to Discourse and there are a lot of single-post topics – including announcements, as well as people sharing useful material that did not always generate comments.

Is it possible to tag and re-categorize these topics without updating their activity counter?

Edit: can I at least revert the activity counter? This is super confusing.

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There’s no plans for this at the moment. Did you want to purchase a hosting plan to subsidize the feature development?

What I’d like to do for the moment is clarify how the current features work.


  • If I change category or add tags to topics in bulk the “activity” value of the topics is not updated.
  • If I change category or edit the tags from within an individual topic, however, the “activity” value is updated.

This discrepancy caught me by surprise.

I tried reverting the edits I made in the latter case, but the “activity” value seems to be independent of that. I was asking if there was a way to unring that bell (apart from going back to an earlier backup and starting over).

I support changing it so if a mod edits category or tag topic is not bumped site setting, probably default on, then we can make the two consistent


In general a lot of this kind of housekeeping is done before the import at the database level, to avoid lots of UI driven busywork later.

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For future generations, consolidating the behavior, as Sam suggests, is a good idea.

The import data was just a pile of JSON files courtesy of Ning. It seemed easier to do the re-categorisation using Discourse’s UI.

Following your comment I looked into accessing Discourse’s database directly. I got as far as accessing it via pgAdmin, but failed to figure out if editing topics in bulk there was easier. But it’s very late and I’ll freely admit to having no idea what I’m doing. I’ll take a look tomorrow.

Although my hunch is that what I’ll end up doing is restoring an earlier backup and starting again using the built-in bulk tools. Which is fine now that (I think) I’ve worked out a process. I was really confused earlier :dizzy_face: