Users are inappropriately editing their topics to "remove" them

In our forum we have a Help and Feedback category which is essentially development support. Often times what happens is the OP will completely wipe their content by editing out the question with just “solved it myself” or they even go out of the way to “delete” their topic (they don’t delete it, they add the “post withdrawn by author” themselves since only staff members can truly delete topics).

This is not how you properly delete topics and the reason why we aren’t even allowed to delete in the first place is because pretty much all topics contain valuable discussion. Completely wiping out the meaningful content of topics is extremely unhelpful and counterproductive so I would like to see a little pop-up suggesting to edit their solution into the OP or even as a separate reply. The worst part is, replies to the OP completely lose context, so if you think about it, other people’s content is being wiped from its meaning as well.

Edit: I do realize I (and other community members) can flag the post to bring it to attention of staff members but I believe it would be a good idea to kick the habit of making a post less useful.

Edit 2:

they are public


The gist is: no one will read the messages. You can edit all the existing messages, the discobot narrative, put banners up; adding a pop-up text isn’t the answer to changing community behavior.

So we might want to take another approach to this. I believe there are editing time limits, perhaps those can be configured to help.

Also, you could make it explicit that discussions are public and remain so; otherwise, it seems appropriate for a person to be able to delete their messages. They aren’t using the site the same way as you, so you ought to explain your expectations. :slight_smile:


Change the site setting that sets hour long people can edit their post.

Tell people not to do that.

Restore their version before the edit.

My guess is that it’s this happens often that people think it’s what the community norm is,so they do it even if they didn’t want to.


We can do that however the OP will “close” their topics as soon as they find an answer, not an hour, weeks or even months later.

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So set it to a minute or ten. I’d argue that if they find their own answer in 10 minutes then maybe they indeed shouldn’t have posted, but I don’t know your community, so I could be quite wrong.