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Minor update on how we delete posts
Just a small update on something we're trying out when deleting posts.
So up until now, we've always hard-deleted posts and threads. That means if you tried to view it, you simply wouldn't see it, or any sign it was ever there.
There are a few issues with this. Firstly, it can make the flow of conversations feel weird if pieces of it are suddenly missing. Replies to those posts can also then make less sense. Secondly, if we delete a whole discussion on request, the input from other members gets lost. There are two impacts of this: the amazing support someone might put a lot of thought into is removed, and any lurkers who might have benefited from reading the support in that discussion now can't see it. And finally, hard-deleting posts messes with people's post counts and statistical data. That's arguably less important, but still worth us considering.
The solution we've decided to try out is deleting the content of posts rather than deleting them outright. So when we need to delete something, we'll simply edit the post and replace it with [deleted post].
We may not do this all the time. For example, there will be occasions where we need to delete a long chain of posts, in which case deleting them outright is much tidier. And if we're deleting argumentative posts, we might consider hard-deleting so we don't leave any bad vibes in the discussion.
If you would like a thread deleted, once we've deleted the content of the main post, we're also open to editing responses to that thread if those responses contain details you'd like us to remove. For example, if your main post talked about something personal like the medication you're taking and responses also mention it, we could edit that out if you like.
The key thing is that you have control over your own content, and we want to make sure that's protected while also protecting the input of others and the natural flow of discussions.
All behaviour is a need trying to be met.