Topic deleted when first post is flagged and hidden for 30 days

Good Afternoon,
My forum has randomly automatically deleted a highly popular topic-post. Can you share why it did this, and how to reconfigure the settings to disallow this? You can see any necessary facts related to the topic and user below. I looked at the Staff Action Logs and it simply says that the system deleted the post.

Created: 2018-04-09
Deleted: 2021-04-23

Created: Feb 16, 2018
Last Emailed: 20 hours
Seen: Apr 15
Verified email
Account still exists, TL2


Screenshot of exported Staff Action Log

Please let me know if you can share any help with this, because I would hate if my forum would randomly delete popular topics automatically, thank you.


Does the account that created the topic still exist? The user self-deleting their account could be one explanation.


Their TL2 account still exists with verified email address, thank you.


You may want to contact support at Discourse Hosting/Communiteq to dig into the technical details of this further. I’m sure they’ll be able to assist. It’s possible someone accidentally set up a delete topic scheduled job or something of that sort.

Also, the topic should be recoverable. If you know the topic ID (the number part of the URL), you should be able to restore it by browsing to<topic_id> and undeleting the first post.


Thank you for letting me know. I have un-deleted it right now. It now shows this message:

Can mass-flagging possibly cause a topic to auto-delete over a length of time? The user had first posted it approximately three years ago, April 2018.

Could the host have auto-deleted it due to an internal moderation feature? As you said, perhaps I will contact them.


We looked into this. Don’t hesitate to contact our support in cases like this!

That’s basically what happened: the first post was hidden exactly one month before the topic was deleted, with reason flag_threshold_reached_again. There is a scheduled job destroy_old_hidden_posts which deletes hidden posts after 30 days.

For the record: no - don’t worry about that. We do not “moderate” anything, neither automatically nor manually. That is the sole responsibility of our customers.


Can an admin revise the number of flags and number of days of those two features? I tried searching them under Settings but could not find them. I ask because in this particular instance, the first post sucked but the many replies that it received fostered a pretty enlightened and helpful discussion that I would prefer to exist, despite the first post suffering a mass-flagging.

That gives me a sense of relief, thank you for clarifying.

1 Like

I think it’s advisable to consider the danger of having an “evil” first post. If the first post is sufficiently hateful / unwanted, then it will get flagged again and again by users. And as noted, the system will clean up hidden posts after 30 days to keep the community free of hateful / unwanted content. When the hidden post is the first post in a topic… then the topic is implicitly deleted, too.

If you like the replies, but those replies are attached to a dangerous / unwanted first post, I strongly recommend that you either

  • split the discussion to remove the first post from the equation


  • edit the first post so that it’s more community friendly and less likely to be flagged

I’ll move this into the community category because I think that’s important advice for any community.