Question on deleting limits

I am a user in one site that using discourse. However, I want to delete some replies (not a post) that I posted before. I noticed that there is a limit that you can delete per day, and I think that limit is 10 per day if I counted correctly.

I just have a question that why this limit exsit in the first place, since the reply does not effect other replies and discussion in a post. As of now, the user has no right to delete a post that has mutiple replies, no right to remove the account completely (only anonymization: which is just changes name and removes profile. Your personal information in posts and replies remains and can still be easily identify), and no right to hide edit history. So does that means every post and reply that a user made, is belongs to the website and has no or very limited control? If you want to share something personal then years later decided not to share, you have no right to change or delete it?

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I’d recommend asking the admin of the site in question, they can delete anything and generally they’re willing to. They can even hide revision history on a post-by-post basis if you need to remove personal info.

When it comes to your rights as a user it starts to become a bit of a legal question, and this varies a lot by region. In some places an admin is legally obligated to fulfill a deletion request.

Our default settings are cautious in favor of the health of the community. If a very active user decides to delete all their content this could be damaging to a community and can render a lot of discussion unreadable.


That’s my whole point in this topic, in favor of the health of a community, does that just mean to sacrifice users’ privacy and their right to remove? If an admin declines to remove, a user basically has no choice?

The reason that I am asking here, is our admin refer this issue to the general discourse policy and its default settings, and refused to raise this limit. He said that most discourse sites uses the same policy and default settings. If I have a problem, take it to them.

It’s the admin’s site, so you’re beholden to their rules unless you have a legal right to deletion to lean on. Even if we were to change the defaults in Discourse, any individual site admin can change them.

The admin telling you to take it to us is a bit misguided, we have no control over how they manage their site.


I understand that. I am just simply asking why discourse does not respect a user’s right and limit deleting just because it is in favor of a community in the first place. This settings is not visually displayed to user when we sign up and in the “welcoming guide” tour. I am just expressing my frustration after joining a year and then realized that I cannot change or remove what I posted and shared.

A site admin definitely has the power to modify the settings, but if this is the default settings, and assuming most host does not change and figure out every functionality, then I would assume most discourse site remains the same settings. If this is a common issue, then can I address this issue here?

Replies affect, because it is quite rare situation where a topic means one starter and plenty of separate replies to the starter

After anonymatization? How’s that possible?

Yes, that it means. And that policy is quite world wide and where things are differently it comes from goverment-level and has nothing to do with a user; what China does is different thing than what GDPR of EU states.

Yes, it means that (quite universal thing and has nothing to do with Discourse).

There could be one rare situation when such policy is actually unlegal, in western countries anyway. If a post is so original that copyright kics in — copyright is better protected than agreements between platform and users, but it can lead to very expensive trials because just opinion of a user when a post is original enough is not enough.

In the real world admins mostly will do such deletion when asked — if they can do it technically (I can’t at my forum) or request doesn’t break too much topics.

Still… there is one bigger question too: can a single person change ones mind when wanted and is that stronger thing than benefits of many as a community. But that is more or less at philosophic level, I know.

(Sorry, I’m reaching the limits of my english skills, so please try to see behind all grammatic errors and different way to style sayings what a native anglo would do…)

And the last disclaimer: I don’t know what admins here, there and everywhere do and don’t do; out there is different laws and rules too, but things are quite universal world wide too.

well our community is a bit small. unlike this one, our “username” is being displayed instead of name, and it cannot be changed by ourselves (for those users who signed up at an eariler time). People who posted a lot, especially have a popular topic (talking about thousands of replies) usually remembered by public. And for the user profile… I mean most people do not read that. Deleting profile does not effect much.

When after anonymatization, what we see is just a name change, and thats it. I can still pull up his past posts and everything.

This raises the issue of privacy after this user wants to quit. We realized that there is no deleting his posts and replies, just a name change, which is the same that I can easily do it myself (well at least in our site, for those users who registered at a later time).

I hated this rule is not being displaced in the beginning, and misguide users to share personal information with knowingly can be removed if undesired at a later time. If this rule is known to public, doesn’t that push away for those who want to share? If everyone think that way, does a community really exsit?

So based on what I know so far, is that discourse default settings “trick” people to share and let them know cannot be deleted after. This doesn’t make sense to me.

Imagine if you share a video on youtube to public and you cannot delete or set it as private later on, I bet people will be mad at YouTube too. Hope this last example can help you understand my point. I do not mean to offend anyone, but just simply here to discuss and please help me understand your point of view.

We build community software, so we try to strike a balance where an individual user can only do so much to impact the community without input from the admin that owns the site (this is true when it comes to both adding and removing content… we have a lot of rate limits).

Listing what an individual user can/can’t do at signup has its limits, as an admin could change these settings at any moment. If you created an account 5 years ago with fewer deletion restrictions and an admin decided to restrict deletion today, you’d be in the same situation.

It’s unfortunate that the admin of the site in question isn’t willing to fulfill your deletion request, that’s very frustrating, but when you’re posting on someone else’s website you’re always limited to their rules (and local laws). If it matters at all to them, I’d strongly recommend the admin in question fulfills your request to remove any personal identifying information, it’s usually the right thing to do in this situation.

Discourse is free and open-source software, and is not a closed centralized service like YouTube. If we removed the ability for admins to control what can or can not be deleted, they’d likely edit Discourse’s code with a plugin or choose a different platform entirely.


Thank you so much for your explanation. I am really appreciated it.

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Actually I am the admin in question. I have fulfilled every deletion request regarding privacy/personal info. But there are a few users on our forum thinking they have the right to delete everything they have ever posted on our forum all at once. Especially some users with thousands of posts already. Well i don’t think that is a reasonable request, so i refuse to raise the deletion limit. I believe the default deletion limit makes a lot of sense.

I think a better solution is making “anonymization” better, see this post:

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