Show message retention period in the UI?

After this #chat conversation, I think we can have better copy here:
Originally sent in chat feedback

When retention period is limited, is there a disclaimer on the channel that clearly states that? I was thinking of something along the lines of what we have at the bottom of topics that will automatically close.

If I am writing in a channel and my messages will evaporate in 30 days, I would like to know :smiley:


I know it's surfaced somewhere, but I think it needs to be surfaced more clearly. We don't have per channel retention settings yet; it's all site wide. I think per channel makes sense, and when we do that surfacing this more clearly will be even more important. Until then, while not ideal, the site wide setting is probably easier to communicate via other means.

Proposed change

  • How it would work:

    • If there is a retention period set, say “last x days”
    • If no retention period is set, the text can say “all”
  • We could add a tooltip :information_source: to the end of the phrase so users are educated about retention periods and to use topics or “Move to Topic” for important discussions

  • Besides the above change, we also need to surface this somewhere that doesn’t require scrolling to the first available message. The “About” or “Settings” tabs on the chat channel info page seem like potential homes.


The new copy just creates more confusion for me.

‘Showing all messages in the last 30 days’ implies that older messages exist, but some form of filter is limiting what’s shown.

If we’re to eliminate the ambiguity we only really need to let the user know that messages over X expire/are deleted, right?


I learned recently that we already have something for this.

Here’s part of a screenshot:

Here’s the spec:

What I don’t fully understand about the logic at this point is under what conditions needs_channel_retention_reminder is true.

My quick read of the code makes me think it defaults to true and gets set to false once the user dismisses it once, and is therefore never shown again after that.

Maybe we could set it back to true under some conditions?

Or maybe we run with the design here, but just use the existing language for the text at the beginning of the message stream too?