Is there an option on Discourse forums to allow users to see their own deleted posts

I participate in a discourse forum, and only realized recently that on that site some of my posts have been deleted, and not even I, the poster can see them. Do Discourse forums have a setting for mods or whoever to turn on, to let users see their own deleted posts?

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I don’t think there is a option that allows user to see their deleted posts.
But if you export your user data( Preference → Export your data → Request archive), you can find your deleted posts in the csv file.

Actually I thought that it doesn’t sounds like a good idea to allow users see their deleted posts, because ‘deleted’, in the eyes of most people, it should just disappear forever?


There are several stages to post deletion, I think. At least in the case of deleting your own post, it will show as a deleted post for some configurable number of hours. Then, the system marks it for hard deletion, and it is not visible to the public. I’m not sure if the owner can still see it, but admins can. After another period of time, the system actually deletes it, and it will exist only in backups, or web archives, or personal captures.

Some forums will be run in a very transparent way, where the mods will engage in a conversation about a deletion, and perhaps even PM the poster a copy of their original post. Other forums will be run in such a way that the poster may not be aware that their posts have been subject to moderator action.

If a forum has a public policy of transparency, and you find that some action has happened without transparency, you might want to contact the admins in case they have a misbehaving moderator, or in case something else has gone wrong.

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Just a couple of notes/corrections to that…

To remove a post, you can use the dustbin icon on any of your posts to mark it for ‘deletion’, which will start a timer based on the delete removed posts after admin setting. Within that time the poster can fish it back out of the bin and restore it, no worries. :+1:

Some sites do remove this option, or limit it to x in a certain amount of time using max post deletions per minute and max post deletions per day:

However, when the timer runs down they become ‘soft-deleted’, which means while they are no longer visible to everyone they are still visible to Admins, Moderators, and Category Moderators (and TL4 if you have tl4 delete posts and topics enabled):

Posts/topics on Discourse are rarely hard-deleted, and to enable this for your site you must toggle on a hidden site setting can_permanently_delete if you’d like to do it through the UI, or do it manually using the rails console.


Thanks, I’ve learnt something there! But, if, as an admin, I use the dustbin/trashcan action on a hidden soft-deleted post, does that not hard-delete it?


There will be no trashcan any more for those posts. The admin view would look a little like this:

And you would need to use the post wrench (and have can_permanently_delete enabled) to access the permanently delete option:

But while it remains soft-deleted it does get included in the User Archive:


Sorry, you’re quite right. I saw the red dustbin, but it’s not a button, it’s a note, meaning that the thing has been soft-deleted.


Oh yes, I see what you mean now. This one:

You’re right, that’s a note to say who deleted it and when/how long ago. :+1:


i wish the deleted (hidden in orange highlight) posts would show up in the Moderator review queue instead of the “(post deleted)” message.