Unlist option in Topic Timer

My ideal workflow for closing topics is:

  1. Lock topic
  2. Add post explaining why it was locked
  3. Leave it listed so users see why it was locked instead of it mysteriously disappearing
    • Otherwise it may look like we’re just closing topics we don’t like without good reason
  4. Unlist topic a day later
    • Duplicates don’t clutter search
    • Inappropriate topics can’t be dug up

Manually unlisting the topic a day later is inconvenient. I could use the auto-delete timer, but generally we prefer unlisting over deleting. Even if the OP misses the 24 hour window before the topic gets hidden, we still want them to be able to get back into the topic with the link we sent them in feedback PMs so they can:

  • Copy info from their topic that wasn’t posted in the topic they duplicated and add it there
  • Review a topic of theirs that got closed and reason about it with a level head

Since deleting a topic isn’t a great option in our case, it’d be nice if forum mods/admins could use the Topic Timer to schedule the topic to be unlisted automatically in addition to the existing options.


Unlisting is a weird choice here. Why not archive instead? Or simply delete.

Archiving doesn’t really suit our needs. In the case of duplicate threads, we don’t want them showing up in the search (hard to find the one, true thread when there are a bunch of archived duplicates polluting results). Since they’re fully searchable, it’s also still possible for users to dig up dirt e.g. “haha look at this bad thread you posted a year ago”. Unlisting or deleting are preferable by far in these cases.

As for deleting, we still want the OP to be able to go back into their thread with the link we send in feedback PMs for reasons mentioned in the OP. Unlisting seems like the best option for us.


One thing I would like to do is heavily de-prioritize archived topics so by default they always show up last. Then you don’t need to remove the topics from search.

We are also considering per-topic / per-category “custom search” bumps so you can prioritize stuff better.


I could even see a case for a checkbox in search, default off, “include archived topics”


If this is not too difficult that’s what I would recommend. We need to strengthen archive as a feature anyway… archived topics are a topic with “one foot in the grave”, as in they may be moved out to cold storage elsewhere.