Moving posts into an existing topic doesn't keep chronology

We do have instances where a member starts two topics in different categories and after a short while it becomes apparent that the issues are different aspects of the same problem. In these instances it makes perfect sense to merge the two topics so members are not repeating advice or asking for code already given in the other topic.

Grave digging an old thread, as chronology is still breaking when moving messages from a thread to another. I agree with @downey that a sane default would be to keep the chronological order. At least I would say so, with 15+ years of moderation experience.


Yes, this will always be an annoyance AFAICT. Without it, the content of
the topic doesn’t make sense.

1 Like

As I posted last year, no simple solution is ideal. For example, say I have a code problem that involves PHP getting info from a MySQL database, and because I don’t know exactly what the problem is I think it’s two separate problems and start two topics, one for each.

First topic, replies ABCDEFG
Second topic, replies 123456789

Both are active and getting replies, the post datetimes of both taken together overlap

If it eventually becomes known that the problem of First topic is in reality the same problem as the Second topic, it could be decided to move First topic to the Second topic.

123456789ABCDEFG - post datetimes are out of sequence, and it is likely that new posts will be jumbled much like a busy chat session.

A12B3C45DE6F78G9 - post datetimes are in sequence, but the discussion flow is horribly jumbled.

I guess the ideal would be to have a way for Moderators to sort topic posts.
But I wonder how difficult that feature would be to code up. and even more so, how many Moderators would want to sort posts in a long topic?

IMHO the best alternative is to make two posts something like
First topic - “discussion continued {link here}” and Close topic
Second topic - “also discussed {link here}” and leave topic Open


With the understanding that there is no ideal solution to this topic, I think that the fact that the first post that is merged gets a “new” timestamp while the remainder of the merged posts maintain their original time stamp is a bug and should be fixed regardless of when/if a decision is made on the larger issue of merged topics.


I just ran into this. We have a small community which uses discourse as a mailing list which had two active threads. Someone replied to thread B with a comment intended for thread A, which had drifted off to a new topic ©. By the time the problem was realized, there were a bunch of comments in thread B about topic C.

So I created a new thread for topic C, and moved all the posts from B, then moved all the posts from A also. But now I have all the later posts from B after the earlier posts from A, which is really confusing.

Is there any way to reset or change an individual posts time? I would be willing to manually set the order of each message if that was possible.


I just merged two topics with the ‘move to existing topic’ function and found that all the posts from the newly created redundant topic were randomly shoved into a timeline from about a year earlier and the ‘latest’ post is from Oct 2016 despite the new content coming from the last couple of months.

In the overall view on the main page it shows the poster and date from the newest posts that should be there, but the last post is actually from the previously untouched thread.

This seems buggy, but is there a solution to correctly reorder them with a command?

Not buggy – inserting year old posts in as if they are new is a terrible idea. Chronology matters.

I don’t think I’ve made myself clear or there’s a misunderstanding.

The chronology is not being kept.

So I merged a newly created topic that should’ve been part of an older topic and the posts from that new topic just got dumped somewhere in the old topic about 2 years ago.

I guess my larger point is that none of these options is “correct” so either behavior will be objected to by someone.

Pick your poison?

1 Like

But you agree that year old posts being inserted as new is a terrible idea! :slight_smile:

The opposite of that is to keep chronology so that when a duplicate topic is created by someone and merged to an established topic, the new post gets put it at the right point.


Could I be so bold as to run a poll?

As a forum moderator, which behaviour would you prefer to see?

  • A) Merged posts are always inserted in chronological positions
  • B) Merged posts are always placed at the end of the destination topic (existing behaviour)
  • Moderator chooses A or B depending on the topic
  • Other (please comment)

0 voters

But the existing behaviour is not B.

The existing behaviour shoves the posts in a totally random point … in my case about 200 posts back and ‘2 years ago’ despite having dates of ‘1 day ago’.

In addition to this, when listing the posts in latest or category view, the most recently dated post (which comes from the newer merged thread) is marked … but it’s actually buried in the thread way earlier.

That has to be a bug?

Did you have any weird migrations on your site? Will I be able to repro this on

Yes this forum was a perfect once-run import from phpBB. Would that make a difference?

Don’t know, but I’ll give it a run at some point. I have reproduced it on 3 forums that have come from phpBB, but not on a clean install yet.

The option to do one or the other would be lovely. I like the other way, and so does my community, so the status quo is an irritant :slight_smile:

1 Like

Just experienced this and agree that it is a difficult problem. Had two parallel discussions on exact same topic and interleaving merged list according to chronology looks like it might have worked better. Latest post to original (merged into) topic is now quite a ways up in the thread. Tradeoff hard to analyze at glance.


Can’t discourse provides both ways and let mod/admin choose which one to use when merging?


I’m looking to insert moved posts to the last post on an existing topic. Seems this is not possible, so moved posts appear out of order and are listed after the original post in the existing topic.