Notification when a moderator or admin deletes your message

That way I can know why it’s missing.


I was still sitting on the page and every X seconds a post disappeared and I was like… WTF is going on??? Then I navigated away, trying using Back and got a topic is missing/private error (that’s how I knew it was removed).


Depends on the site policies.

I went ahead and PM’ed you on this one to explain, as I should have. That should be the policy on most sites, but it’s up to the staff.

Some related policies:

  • We expect topics to have titles with reasonably correct terminology here so people can find stuff.
  • Intentionally overriding edits to change incorrect terminology (“sticky topic”) to correct (“pinned topic”), will result in deletion.

Related to that one, you didn’t change it to correct terminology, you completely changed the context of what I was asking about. Changing ‘sticky’ to ‘pinned’ is one thing, adding the words ‘How do I’ is something completely different. The issue still exists, and the topic just vanished as did cpradio’s information about how to pin/unpin topics.


Information on how to pin/unpin is duplicated on a bunch of existing topics here. I suggest searching a bit, using the word “pin” and “unpin”. Not “sticky”, which is not used anywhere here.

…Except here, in this topic.


Except where it is.



This would be good. Maybe the best way to handle this would be a feature that requires the staff member to enter the delete reason before the delete is processed. At the very least, the user should be told who deleted their post so that they can ask why.

I’ve had a post deleted here (can’t remember the topic) which I thought was on topic, contributed to the discussion, and was not attacking anyone. I have no idea why the post was deleted, or which staff member deleted it, so I have no idea what to do differently in the future. There was another case where I had a post deleted, but it was replying to another post which was also deleted. I didn’t get any notification on that post either, but I figure it was deleted due to it’s relation to the initial post in the chain.

tl;dr: Deleting posts is generally done because of unacceptable posting behavior. If the staff member doesn’t want to tell the poster why their post was deleted, or simply forgets, the poster doesn’t know what behavior to correct.


Just a reminder:

In order to maintain our community, moderators reserve the right to remove any content and any user account for any reason at any time. Moderators do not preview new posts in any way; the moderators and site operators take no responsibility for any content posted by the community.

I agree that is generally a good policy to PM about deletions if people can learn something from it, but it is not required, and will depend on the site.

I shared my anecdotes because you said:

This seems to indicate that the policy here is for staff to let a poster know why a post has been deleted. However, in both instances where I have had a post deleted here, that has not happened. I understand that mods delete stuff to keep forums clean (that’s standard forum behavior), but I had inferred from your post that the notification was part of meta.discourse’s policy. If that was not what you intended to communicate, then I’m sorry for the confusion.


As previously mentioned this was about titles

… but I went ahead and fixed those.

I care a lot more about titles being correct than random tenth-paragraph-in text. Titles are the first thing you see and the primary ‘what is this’ signal you have about a topic. Titles being correct is of supreme importance.

Body text, not nearly as much.

I don’t know if this is still the case, testing was a while ago now.

There are 3 Flags that can be used by community members.


Each has a different message sent from “System” which should be some help even if it doesn’t provide specifics.

However, when there are a combination of different Flags adding up to the Hide, the message will be that of the last Flag selected.

Edge case, and I imagine most members know what they did wrong and only feign ignorance or are hoping to learn what they can get away with without getting in trouble, but IMHO a personalized message from a Mod is a good thing especially for members that simply made a mistake or were having a bad day.


In my experience, my posts were never flagged. Not once. I believe that one was deleted since it was a reply to a flagged post (so context was lost), but I thought the other one was in good taste and on topic. I have no idea which staff member found what objectionable.


I recently had a post deleted here with no notification.

I only later discovered it by accident, when the topic was bumped and I noticed an earlier post I had made was not there.

Having a PM with a reason would be nice, but it may not be necessary in most cases. If its not obvious why your post was deleted you can always ask the mods.

But if you don’t even know your post was deleted, then you miss out on that opportunity.

If the PM seems too cumbersome, I think it would be good start to at least have a simple notification when a post is deleted, similar to when a post is edited.


This was also discussed a bit on bbs, where they do a lot of moderator deletions:

This still seems to me to be more of a forum policy / Moderatior discretion thing than a code thing.

The forum can make it easy to do the PM follow-up by offering the option to send a message when the admin / mod deletes the message .

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I really think as a first step, forget the PM, the additional UI to offer it etc.

Just make the action show up in the user’s notification stream so they at least know that something happened:

Its a simple thing to start with that would add some starting point for a feedback cycle…


How do you clear it though? You can visit it… it doesn’t exist…

Sometimes you just want certain posts to just quietly, softly go gently into that good night – whereas an automatic notification on every post deletion is a banner invitation for a lot of infighting.

It’s the same sort of logic that demanded “you must require a comment on every downvote” on Stack Overflow. Reams of discussion you can read about that on meta.stackexchange and meta.stackoverflow. TL;DR – it’s a toxic and dangerous requirement, and ultimately unnecessary, because there is nothing stopping people from adding a comment if they want to.

I think it’s up to the mod to decide if the deletion is a teaching moment, if they have the bandwidth for the teaching moment, versus the headache of sending an engraved “want to get in a fight about this?” invitation every single time something needs to be removed.

I do think it’s a good policy to encourage a PM on deletions, but requiring it (or auto-notification) is quite beyond the pale.