When a post is deleted in Discourse, we perform a soft-delete. This means that post is still present in the database in case an administrator wants to recover it later. A soft-delete is not sufficient when the deleted post contains sensitive information and must be pruned from the database completely. For those situations, we are introducing the ability to permanently delete a post.
This feature was implemented under a hidden site setting because of how dangerous it can be, once a post is destroyed it cannot be recovered. As an additional protection mechanism, posts can be permanently deleted by the same administrator who deleted the post only after 5 minutes have passed OR by a different administrator immediately. If post cannot be deleted because none of the preconditions were met, it will show an error message:
If your site is hosted by us, contact us and we will enable it for you. If you host it yourself, to enable it you must enter the console (
rails c) and change the site setting value:
SiteSetting.can_permanently_delete = true