When to unlist, make private message, close, and delete

Sometimes it’s tough to tell what action to take when you don’t want/need your whole community seeing a certain post. Anyone have general rules of thumb for when you perform each action within your community?


Close: discussion is too contentious, not going in a productive direction, endless.

Delete: discussion is harmful / hurtful, went in a flat out wrong direction, needs to be restarted from square zero

Unlist: Possible security implications, or not of general interest to the wider audience at all, highly specific to one person

Make PM: same as unlist, but “safer” since nobody can visit the URL any more. If you will need personal or intimate details to go further, probably a wise choice vs Unlist.


I’d also add that close is frequently used when discussion is done - i.e. a question that has a conclusive answer, a support request that has been solved/resolved, etc.


Interesting, that’s really helpful. I had the same thoughts about PM and Unlist but I still haven’t formulated an official guideline for Close and Delete so this is a good starting point.

One other option you did not list: change the category. If you have a category with restricted permissions (like the default lounge and staff categories), changing the category will prevent those without permissions from seeing and/or replying to the topic.


Also see this: