Why post revisions cannot be disabled for admins?

I have searched the forum and explored the settings before asking this question. I know that post revisions (aka post history) can be hidden from non-staff but they cannot be disabled. This means that if an admin posts

Ten fine paragraphs.
One sensitive/problematic statement.
Ten more fine paragraphs.

and edits it to become

Ten fine paragraphs.
Ten more fine paragraphs.

Discourse makes sure that the part that is edited out, will always remain visible to staff. The problematic parts can only be deleted by nuking the entire post/topic or directly manipulating the database. This becomes limiting when the owner of the forum would like to have staff but also needs a way to redact certain information (e.g. sensitive personal information posted by mistake).

I’m wondering why there isn’t an option to disable history/revisions for certain users or groups of users such as those who bear the legal responsibilities of running the forum? In particular, I’m wondering if there is are ideological reasons for not including such an option (e.g. to enforce transparency and making sure the forum owners run their forum the right way)?

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Hi @PintoBean. :wave:

I don’t think it comes up very often. :slight_smile:

In my experience, the majority of post revisions are for typos, fixing links, and those kinds of edits.

In the example you shared…

…if the admin users on your forums keep doing this over and over, it may indicate they need training to understand how to prevent sharing sensitive information.

I would guess that most communities won’t have admin users populating post revisions with inappropriate information and, therefore, the system works well as is.

Does that make sense? :slight_smile:


It does make sense. Thank you. :heart:

Just to add more context, I’m the only admin of my forum and I agree that if I train myself to only post things that I’d be comfortable sharing with all my future staff 10 years from now, then that would eliminate the need for redacting anything.

I would find it helpful to have a saying in what should and should not stay in the database when I edit a post, but I understand that there might not be enough Discourse users who would expect that level of control from a forum software.


I’ve stashed private info in a forum for years, and then began adding more admin users.

In that case, I nuked all the content that I didn’t want them to access. I definitely get that use case. :slight_smile:

My suggestion: copy the content over to a new topic, move any replies over to the new topic, and then hard delete the original, revisions and all. :+1:


Your suggestion indeed works. And it may not be the only solution either. I assume having some database queries run periodically to remove revisions from my posts would work too. It would be hacky and needs maintenance with each update but is efficient and non-invasive (a more refined version of this).

It’s in part the simplicity of the solutions that made me wonder if there is an ideological reason Discourse doesn’t let admins disable revisions or delete a post history. If I own the website, at most I get to hide the post history from non-staff users. But I’m not allowed to delete or disable the history. It’s mandatory that the history of my posts be visible to my staff and certainly mandatory that they remain in the database. Unless I nuke the post or resort to hacky ways to manipulate the database.


Hello and welcome @PintoBean :slight_smile:

This is actually possible if you enable the hidden site setting can_permanently_delete (more info on how to do that here Enable setting to allow admins to permanently delete data).

With that enabled, when you hide a post revision you then get an option in the UI to delete the post revisions:


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