On multiple occasions on our forum, we’ve had someone post something that has already been addressed/answered, and another user responds to them. For instance:
“You can re-open tabs on Chrome by pressing Ctrl+Shift+T”
-> “OP already said this was incognito and wouldn’t work”
When the first user deletes their post to clean up the thread, after 24 hours the second user’s post looks weird. Ideally they’d withdraw their post as well since it is no longer relevant, but they never know the prior post was deleted. If users received an automated notification whenever a post they replied to is withdrawn or deleted, they could act on their own post.
I’m not sure whether on withdrawl/deletion is preferable – withdrawn would allow for chains to be cleaned up more quickly, but withdrawls can also be reversed. I could maliciously withdraw my controversial post, get someone to withdraw their reply to me, and then reinstate my own post now free of criticism. Is this a legitimate concern? Would we need to notify when posts are reinstated as well?
Ideally, a reply should include a quote of that part of the post that it’s reacting to.
Not saying that solves the problem entirely, but you can encourage users to quote, maybe it helps?
It’s a valid but niche request. The best workaround I can think of would be to drastically lower the self-delete window.
That’s only recommended practice if you’re replying to a specific portion of text. Most replies don’t need any quoting, the context is enough.
Thing is, you could be replying to multiple posts. The post you made may also have its own unique globally relevant content.
I don’t see us changing anything to auto-delete chains, not only do I think that is wrong in practice it also becomes a giant vector for griefing.
Regarding the specific feature request which is:
“Tell me when something I quoted or something I replied to was deleted?” I think in practice this is quite rare, and I worry that this just creates a lot of unneeded work for people, cause this is a GIANT slippery slope.
- Notify people when a post they replied to was deleted
- Notify people when a post they quoted was deleted
- Notify people when a post they replied to was edited (which can effectively be the same as a deletion)
- Notify people when a post they quoted was edited
I am not a huge fan of this, cause in general this would only create noise.
Part of this can probably be solved with help from the community: Encourage your members to flag for moderator attention when they see a post with a pending deletion that would disrupt the topic. Then, you can decide how to fix this