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Subject: Do not allow deletion of first post in a thread after anyone has replied rss

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Curt Carpenter
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This happens all the time with new users: They start a thread, and either they get their question answered, or they realize they're going about it in the wrong way, etc., and they decide to delete their post. But only after numerous people have already replied, and not quoted it. So we're left with a thread where:
a) We don't really know what the thread was originally about
and/or
b) It looks like someone else is the OP.

If we disallow deletion of opening posts, OPs can still edit their post at any time if they're not happy with it. Even blank it out completely if they want. But at least we know where the tread came from. They should still be able to delete their post if they change their mind before anyone else has replied.
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When you delete a post it states you are deleting the article and not the thread.

I'm not sure how much clearer it could be.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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frumpish wrote:
When you delete a post it states you are deleting the article and not the thread.

No, it doesn't say that. It just says, "Are you sure you want to delete this article?" It says nothing about not deleting the thread. It is a false assumption that users know the difference between an article and a thread. It took me about 5 years on the site before I figured that out that terminology distinction.

frumpish wrote:
I'm not sure how much clearer it could be.

And yet people do it all the time, and state after the fact that they thought they were deleting the whole thread. Evidently it could be a lot clearer.
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Alvin C
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I think it would be fine if an anonymous placeholder was left behind whenever anyone deletes a post - eg [post deleted by user]. At least then I won't waste time being confused by the strange thread.
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Daniel Danzer
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I have to second this. There should be a note, when you open a new thread like: "You are not able to delete the first post or the whole thread after another user has answered! You may edit it or ask an admin to delete the thread, though."
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Tyndal wrote:
I think it would be fine if an anonymous placeholder was left behind whenever anyone deletes a post - eg [post deleted by user]. At least then I won't waste time being confused by the strange thread.

This is a really great suggestion! I also hate it when threads look strange and stupid because the OP deleted his post ...
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Curt's just setting us up, and going to delete his OP any minute now

Also see:

Deleted posts:
27/13 15-06-10 Marker that a post has been deleted (by PenumbraPenguin) (status: noted)
16/06 05-10-10 Placeholder for deleted posts (by keethrax)
12/10 27-08-11 Don't delete posts just because someone closes his account (by Rathke)
05/18 13-05-12 Deleting Original Posts (by COMPNOR)
05/02 25-04-13 Change message shown when deleting posts (by col_w)
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Nathan
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curtc wrote:
This happens all the time with new users: They start a thread, and either they get their question answered, or they realize they're going about it in the wrong way, etc., and they decide to delete their post. But only after numerous people have already replied, and not quoted it. So we're left with a thread where:
a) We don't really know what the thread was originally about
and/or
b) It looks like someone else is the OP.

If we disallow deletion of opening posts, OPs can still edit their post at any time if they're not happy with it. Even blank it out completely if they want. But at least we know where the tread came from. They should still be able to delete their post if they change their mind before anyone else has replied.


Just in case Curt decides to delete his post...

laugh
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Tyndal wrote:
I think it would be fine if an anonymous placeholder was left behind whenever anyone deletes a post - eg [post deleted by user]. At least then I won't waste time being confused by the strange thread.


This!!!
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I recently did the same, when I found out that I had posted the same question that someone had posted a while back, so I thought I'd delete my double thread, but because others replied to it, it now just looks weird hehe.
 
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Also, prevent people from blanking the title of a thread as a soft-delete of the whole thread. (You can't access such a thread from a box, you need to go into the forum interface.)
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Christian Gienger
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I think a bump is needed here. It still happens and I believe that there should be at least a popup stating clearly that the rest of the thread is staying or that, like in many other forums, you can't delete an opening post if someone already replied.
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curtc wrote:
frumpish wrote:
When you delete a post it states you are deleting the article and not the thread.

No, it doesn't say that. It just says, "Are you sure you want to delete this article?" It says nothing about not deleting the thread. It is a false assumption that users know the difference between an article and a thread. It took me about 5 years on the site before I figured that out that terminology distinction.

frumpish wrote:
I'm not sure how much clearer it could be.

And yet people do it all the time, and state after the fact that they thought they were deleting the whole thread. Evidently it could be a lot clearer.


I have enjoyed BGG for ten years, and although I have not often run into the need to delete my own original post, I probably have done it--for a number of reasons (i.e., found similar question from another user, decided to post my statement as a comment to another article rather than starting a new thread, etc.).

If I have ever deleted my own article in the past, I had never realized until today that the rest of the thread would remain although I deleted my original post.

In sum, then: No, it is certainly not clear that this how the Forum posts work.
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frumpish wrote:
I'm not sure how much clearer it could be.

Apparently clearer than the meaning of "allow" is to you.
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Either people own their content or they don't, and if they own it they can delete it. The anonymous placeholder suggested above by Tyndal is the best solution to the problem.
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Curt Carpenter
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Sphere wrote:
Either people own their content or they don't, and if they own it they can delete it. The anonymous placeholder suggested above by Tyndal is the best solution to the problem.

It's not about people owning their content. They still do, even if they couldn't delete a post. They could edit it and remove the content and leave it blank. That has the same degree of ownership as leaving a tombstone. Again, the problem with the system as is (and with the proposal to leave a tombstone) is that people think they're deleting the whole thread, when they're not. We have testimony to exactly that above. There's no way to undo a delete, so people might wish they hadn't deleted it in the first place.

Additional messaging could certainly help. But it's fair to say that people can still own their content by editing it and removing it manually, which leaves no doubt as to what exactly will happen.

But like most BGG suggestions, we all know it ain't changing.
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curtc wrote:
Sphere wrote:
Either people own their content or they don't, and if they own it they can delete it. The anonymous placeholder suggested above by Tyndal is the best solution to the problem.

It's not about people owning their content. They still do, even if they couldn't delete a post. They could edit it and remove the content and leave it blank.

It's not that simple. Many of us have been here for a decade or more, and have hundreds of such threads (some probably have thousands). If somebody chose to leave and delete their content, how long would you expect them to spend going through that many threads and editing first posts individually to remove the content?

If you don't have the power to pull the plug on your own content, you don't own it. I'm against preventing people from deleting their own posts, and the more I think about it the more strongly I'm convinced that to do so would be wrong.
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Curt Carpenter
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Sphere wrote:
It's not that simple. Many of us have been here for a decade or more, and have hundreds of such threads (some probably have thousands). If somebody chose to leave and delete their content, how long would you expect them to spend going through that many threads and editing first posts individually to remove the content?

Sure, it's not that simple if you go conflate the issue with new scenarios. Nobody was talking about someone deleting their account, which is entirely different.
 
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col_w
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Tyndal wrote:
I think it would be fine if an anonymous placeholder was left behind whenever anyone deletes a post - eg [post deleted by user]. At least then I won't waste time being confused by the strange thread.


I add an "OP_deleted" tag to any threads I come across where it has happened. Helps me if I read the thread again later, might help others too.
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curtc wrote:
Sphere wrote:
It's not that simple. Many of us have been here for a decade or more, and have hundreds of such threads (some probably have thousands). If somebody chose to leave and delete their content, how long would you expect them to spend going through that many threads and editing first posts individually to remove the content?

Sure, it's not that simple if you go conflate the issue with new scenarios. Nobody was talking about someone deleting their account, which is entirely different.

How so? If you delete your account, all your threads lose their initial posts. And what if you don't want to delete your pictures and GeekLists, but you do want to delete your threads?

I realized threads with deleted posts can be a pain, but it isn't just first posts. I was in a discussion with a guy who was editing his posts 10-20 times each, then started selectively deleting them, and it was a mess. But what harm is there really? I think the au courant term is first world problem.
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col_w wrote:
I add an "OP_deleted" tag to any threads I come across where it has happened. Helps me if I read the thread again later, might help others too.

That seems look a good solution, and easy to implement.
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Curt Carpenter
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Sphere wrote:
curtc wrote:
Sure, it's not that simple if you go conflate the issue with new scenarios. Nobody was talking about someone deleting their account, which is entirely different.

How so? If you delete your account, all your threads lose their initial posts. And what if you don't want to delete your pictures and GeekLists, but you do want to delete your threads?

I'm not saying what happens to posts when an account is deleted is not a valid question. It's just a different question. We're talking about people who delete the OP, thinking it will delete the thread. I agree that when an account is deleted, having a tombstone makes sense.

Sphere wrote:
I realized threads with deleted posts can be a pain, but it isn't just first posts. I was in a discussion with a guy who was editing his posts 10-20 times each, then started selectively deleting them, and it was a mess.

Sounds like he knew what he was doing.

Sphere wrote:
I think the au courant term is first world problem.

Yep. If you're not interested in discussing first world problems, you're in the wrong forum.
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Curt Carpenter
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Sphere wrote:
col_w wrote:
I add an "OP_deleted" tag to any threads I come across where it has happened. Helps me if I read the thread again later, might help others too.

That seems look a good solution, and easy to implement.

It's not actually a solution at all. The problem is people thinking that deleting their post will delete the thread. The above does nothing to address that.
 
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The simple solution is that:
1) when an OP deletes the first post, there is a pop-up, saying "This will NOT delete the whole thread, just your first post: Do you still want to delete your post? Yes/No"
2) When a first post is deleted, it's replaced by a generic "The first post of this thread was deleted". It doesn't even have to show who posted or what was posted. Just a notice would be fine.

One could expand the 2) to actually mean every post that has at least one post after them, replacing them with a "Deleted post" notice, but that's not necessary.
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