Users removed themselves from Private Messages (PM) and then the mods can't see their PM history

We realized that now users can remove themselves from private messages.

This feature has an unexpected consequence. I found out that a few users in our forum are sending private messages sharing some WeChat Group QR code which is against our forum policy, but they are really smart. They always remove themselves from the private messages after they are done, then the private message history is gone. Therefore I as a mod can’t see what they have discussed by viewing their profile any more. This significantly limits the mod’s ability to execute the forum policy. Please fix this!


You should be able to identify PMs where that has been done using a Data Explorer query - just focus on the automated post that occurs when a user removes themselves.

To be super clever, you could even automate it via a badge query. Repeat offenders would rapidly become apparent!


Thank you very much!
I am not very familiar with SQL, can you let me know what SQL code should we write in Data Explorer?

I tried, and it seems there is no such automated “small action” post or anythig like that. I even wonder if there’s any trace in the database for this action. :thinking:

There should be a small action post when a user removes themselves from a group discussion. Currently, there is only one if the author removes themselves.

It will be fixed, I’ll let you know when it’s done. Then you’ll be able to track this action, whether with a Data Explorer query or a custom plugin. :slight_smile:


That does make sense now from what I have observed. It would probably be fine for the use-case above (@physixfan, have you worked out some SQL yet?) as is, but yes it would be an improvement if there was a nice little record of those who are removed from the PM.

Not yet, I am not familiar with the database structure for Discourse…

Actually, it was confirmed as a bug internally and should be fixed in the future, so I move the topic into the bug category :slight_smile:

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Hi @physixfan!

You still can’t track personal messages through the interface (and it’s not on the roadmap) if the users all removed themselves.

However, the bug was fixed and users removing themselves from a PM create small actions posts:

Don’t forget to update Discourse so the fix is applied and install data explorer if you didn’t yet and if you still need to track these actions.

A working SQL query would be:

SELECT user_id, topic_id
FROM posts
WHERE action_code = 'user_left'

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