Users deleting their post then reposting because it does not show who they replied to when immediately above

Is anyone else finding this?

Quite a few times I have seen users do this and when queried about it they say it’s because the forum did not track it as a response to the other user. (Of course I explain it’s because it is immediately below so the software feels it is unnecessary).

Just wondering what everyone else thinks about this…

I’ve noticed this, and at first even I did it because I specifically wanted it to be displayed as a reply to the user. Now I realize that it was most likely pointless, as a reply to the topic/user directly above would be considered a direct reply anyway in different scenarios. It’s something to get used to I suppose.

You can enable the site setting to always show response indicators if you prefer that for your site / audience.


Ah nice! I guess that was added later? Switched it on, thanks! :smiley:

That setting has been in there since 1.0 as I recall.

The better general advice is for people to use quoting or @username mentions if they want their reply to be very explicit about who it is targeting.

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Took me awhile to find the setting - it’s suppress reply when quoting and by default it looks to be turned on. Am I correct in assuming that turning that off (unchecking) will cause the response indicators to display?


… yes :slight_smile:

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Not quite, the only suppression is when

  • the reply is directly under the post it is replying to
  • there is only one (1) single reply to that post

This turns out to be a very common pattern in conversational topics, which is … why that very specific case is suppressed by default, because it’s quite noisy :wink:

A lof of the forums i used ask for disabling that “feature”.

If i press reply on your post, i want to show that.
If i press reply to the whole thread, then there’s nothing to be shown.

I remember being a few other topics about this, and asking that by default this option should be turned off, and i agree with them.


Won’t be happening while I’m alive, sorry!


Sorry - couldn’t help myself

You're welcome

so you're saying there's a chance

That being said - I’m fine with it not being a default personally


I think it would be an extremely noisy default. The point of Discourse is to keep extraneous information on the screen to a minimum, so people can focus on the conversations. If you want zillions of meaningless infoturds sprayed all over your screen, try phpBB :wink:


Perhaps try an alternative, such as something from here:

Functions by clicking to jump or scroll to the post it is replying to.

The fact that this happens a lot tells me the default is not as intuitive as we might like.

It does not happen a lot, in our hosting. People just think they’re right, when it comes to “more information presented on everyone’s screen all the time is always better”. But they aren’t :wink:

I’ve been using Discourse in various places for a while. I’ve been very confused on a regular basis thinking that I clicked the wrong reply button.

I don’t think anybody who wasn’t told could ever guess what’s going on. I’m also guessing that most people wouldn’t notice, though.

However, once you notice that there are two reply buttons and that the one specifies who you are responding to by displaying it graphically onscreen, then how is anybody supposed to figure out why it doesn’t show up sometimes?


I don’t know. Is this a reply to you, or isn’t it? How could anyone know? It is perhaps one of the greatest mysteries of the universe.

hint: if people really care about making sure people know they are replying to them, they should use a quote or a @name mention, so this default implicitly encourages that good practice as well. If you want to be specific, then be specific.


I think what muddies things is that people get used to it - because most of the time (especially on a fast moving forum) they are not replying to the post directly above theirs - so the indicator is present most of the time.

On other forums, where there is no such indication, people do quote or @the_user… but here, they feel they don’t need to, even when they experience the phenomenon themselves because usually it just works.

I think it’s also worth pointing out that even to those of us who know it doesn’t show if the post is directly beneath the post they are replying to sometimes question whether it actually is - on numerous occasions I have pressed the edit button to check whether they are or not :joy: (of course that’s not something others can do).


It’s obvious that you are replying to me. Just as it’s obvious you are insulting me. What is not obvious is the UX for the user, which does not behave consistently based on the same action, leaving users confused and doing things like deleting comments because the UI indicates they accidentally clicked the wrong button. Which I have done recently on this very forum.

Among other things, it’s not clear whether the person will be notified like you are expecting.

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No insult was intended. I just have EXTREMELY strong feelings on this particular topic. You’ll need to kill me to change this default in Discourse. Literally. It will not be changing while I am still alive and breathing air… and working on the project.

I have no problem with the site setting existing, though.

Sometimes foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

Other times consistency just keeps people from thinking that the forum software is confusing. (The commenter, not the reader.)

I’m glad I finally figured out how this most basic aspect of the software works after using it for years so I won’t be confused any longer.

I suspect that a simple solution that doesn’t compromise your position is actually possible. Just display the response icon for the user that just left the comment, and just on that page-view.

Confusing inconsistent behavior gone. No need to clutter up the UI with needless information. And I agree that having it there is bad. That’s why I don’t want to change the setting, but do want to find a way to fix the UX for the commenter.