Old topic containing newly deleted post still appears at the top

A spam user recently revived some old topics from years ago, pushing the topics to the top of the list (when ordering topics by “Latest”). Upon deleting the user, and their posts, the topics still appear at the top of the list. This seems confusing for other users who may ask “why were these old topics appearing at the top of the list that don’t contain new posts?”

Is there a way to revert the topics to their correct position in the list (chronologically)? IMO it would make sense for this to happen by default, but perhaps there is a good design decision behind the current behaviour.

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This bug might be happening right now here on http://meta.discourse.org:

This topic is the latest as of right now, but the latest post there is from December 2014.

The tooltip of the Activity cell claims there was a post today, but clicking it reveals the newest post is still from December 2014. Was that post deleted? In that case, this is a false activity signal.

In any case, at least the tooltip is incorrect.

Not a bug, just a fact of life – deleted posts you can’t see may indeed be the last post in a topic.

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Hi @codinghorror, would I be correct in guessing that they are “virtually” deleted?

Logically, if they were deleted they would be no longer there, and therefore they would no longer be the latest post.

I’m unfamiliar with the database and curious about the implementation, specifically whether it’s possible to undelete a post :slight_smile:

Yes, everything is soft deleted, so undelete is an option.

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I understand the technical reason why these topics remain at the top. From a non-technical standpoint (particularly, from the point of view of a user who cannot see the deleted posts), I don’t understand why the topics would still be at the top.

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Except for the User class though.

Mostly because it requires a huge refactor to fix it. It will be done since it has other issues but it will take time to land.

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I still maintain that,

But it isn’t. It only seems that way because the last post was deleted and you can’t see it.

That is semantics. As a developer, I understand why you are technically correct.

As a user, it doesn’t make any sense to see “Last post: yesterday”, click that to see the last post, and see that the actual last post is from months ago. Why would a user who can’t see a deleted post care that there was a deleted post? That partially defeats the point of having the post deleted.

Imagine Gmail doing that to your inbox every time it automatically deletes spam:

Hey @Mittineague, new mail! Last one is from 1 second ago!*

* (Might be spam tho! ;))

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Has this been resolved somehow, perhaps with some feature to manually refresh last-updated timestamps to ignore deleted posts? Sorry to necro this old thread, but Search couldn’t find a more recent or relevant one.

Today we had to block+suspend a user and delete their >50 spam posts (and reset our Rate Limits which allowed that to happen, whoops!), but the ancient threads they necro-spammed are still showing up with recent timestamps and listed in our Latest Topics accordingly.

We do have a feature for this now – activate the staff wrench then select “Reset Bump Date”. This will reset the topic to the activity date of the last currently visible topic.

So you can

  • delete the faulty post
  • issue “Reset Bump Date”
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