Minimum trust level for viewing post edit history

Recently it was changed so TL4 (Leader) can never see edit history if edit history is hidden from the public.

Our discussion forum is extremely large-scale with many thousands of users. We use TL4 as a pseudo-moderator role and manually appoint it to trusted community members because these veteran users use the forum more naturally and in-depth than the moderators that are paid to manage the community. They see a lot more problems than moderators and staff, and know where to recategorize topics, but these users cannot be fully appointed as moderators because there is information elsewhere on the forum that they are not allowed to view. Since this trust level has the ability to edit most aspects of topics, move them around, etc, we find it strange that edit history is now permanently hidden from them like it is hidden from the rest of the community.

This change is detrimental to us because these users used this extra permission to gain context on topics that had gone bad where the users involved edited their posts or marked them for deletion. In cases like this these posts were originally posted in a state that horrifically broke rules, eluded to the user posting being underage for our community (important for legal reasons), or potentially at risk of self harm in some extreme cases, but were edited afterwards. TL4 on our forum are active users and have close contact with forum staff and other important people who can have these issues swiftly dealt with by skilled moderators who do not leisurely read the forum due to its scale and niche, which is why it’s important they have this insight. Waiting for flagged posts to get handled is not always fast enough for certain cases.

The justification for this change on the linked thread is to have this behavior match the site setting as described, but the rigidity of this setting is harming our community.

We would like to be able to set a minimum trust level for viewing edit history so as not to impede our Leaders.

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The change seems inconsistent with what other TL4 powers are. TL4 can edit any other users posts, but not see the history of those edits. If the sole reason is because the setting says ‘staff’ on it. Wouldnt it make more sense to just change the wording of the setting instead of the behavior here? It seems like TL4 is intended to be an in between level for users and moderators. Would that not make TL4 entry level staff?

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Category moderators can also do the trick maybe?

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Category mods at TL4 cannot view edit history either.

It’s weird, because if edit history visible to public site setting is disabled, then only staff can see the previous versions of an edited post, and category moderator seems to have staff status…

Unless they have staff status for topics but not for posts ? :thinking:

We still have need of this and it is still impacting our Leaders.

Another example of how this is impacting us is that Leaders are now unable to tell if a topic that is unsuitable for its category was moved from another category, if it was moved by staff (e.g. maybe the topic was moved for a non-obvious reason), or if it was just created in the category and OP doesn’t know better. This information is used to decide whether the topic can be quickly moved somewhere more appropriate without stepping on anyone’s toes

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Yeah, I support changing the behavior back and either just updating the setting description, or making it into a dropdown.

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We would really appreciate a change like this soon, this is still harming us in a lot of small ways that add up. This feature was very ubiquitous.

Please let us know if there is a timeline or estimation for when this will be addressed.

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If you’d like to take this as a feature improvement, please do!

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This is still a problem. Our leaders can edit posts but can’t see the edit history of posts, which doesn’t make any sense and has detrimental impact. Please either return the behavior to the way it used to be and reword the setting, or provide a setting to control the permission level where edit history can be viewed.

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Since leaders aren’t considered “staff,” if you check this then everyone will be able to see edit histories. Unless something can be done about the TL for a leader (i.e. promote to staff/moderator), this is about the best I can come up with. But then everyone can see the edit histories.

/admin/site_settings/category/posting
image

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@CaZsm you have a solution presented above :point_up_2:

If the solution is not to your satisfaction you may wish to seek out different free open source software that behaves in a manner more to your satisfaction.

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@codinghorror
The above solution is not satisfactory because our users would likely feel it to be an invasion of privacy, and would open up potentially sensitive edit history to untrustworthy users.

With all due respect, it is rather bad-tempered to tell us to try to migrate a discussion forum with many thousands of users because of this one issue that needn’t exist. Instead of telling us to go away, we would appreciate hearing if this will be tracked and considered, or if there is a good and sound reason not to do this at all.

Discourse decided to change the behavior of a setting to something that does not make sense given the spirit and capabilities of the Leader trust level (i.e. “almost moderators”, manually appointed, can edit posts, but can’t see edit history?), rather than update the description for the setting instead. Since this change was a change to behavior, and the old behavior made sense and was useful, it doesn’t make sense to shut down the entire use-case for the old behavior simply because the wording of the setting did not agree with exactly how it worked. This puts a limit on the applicability and flexibility of core Discourse for no good reason.

I don’t believe it is terribly offensive to ask for this to have a setting for minimum permission level since viewing edit history goes hand in hand with the ability to edit posts, nor is it to bump this topic after waiting three months to see if there is any interest. Kane seems to agree with this idea, and I imagine other team members would as well. We would like to hear if there is any chance of this happening, if there is anything we can do to highlight this as a good addition for other contributors to tackle, or if not, why.

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TL4 isn’t staff – that’s the long and short of it.

If you wish to sponsor a feature, open a #marketplace topic, or you can sign up for an enterprise hosting plan at https://discourse.org/buy as we do weight enterprise feature requests much more heavily.

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As @codinghorror mentions in his next post sponsoring a plugin might be the best solution. That being said there is a plugin called Custom Trust Levels that maybe able to do something. But would need to read up more on it.

You might be able to ask for a pull request if a feature is needed.

Another potential minor solution might be a theme component. Though a user with good knowledge can use there browser to unhide the view history

3 Likes