How do you delete old Posts?

DigNap15

Fan
Joined
Sep 14, 2019
Messages
548
Hi
If your forum has been going for a few years
Or if it has lots of thread thata are now old or obsolete
Do you delete them
And what is your policy on this?

(I am thinking of donig this to keep my forum file size and hostg costs down)
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,741
I've never deleted a single post or thread in 20+ years of running or managing forums. If content gets posted that isn't wanted or is against a forum's terms then it gets moved to a 'dump box' aka a sub-forum/node, out of site of the general membership.

There are a multitude of reasons for this...
  1. I consider all old content to have value. If I start to delete it then I might as well move to a Facebook group where only new content has value.
  2. Members might not take kindly if their post count suddenly diminishes.
  3. Size matters! As you move closer to a mile stone i.e. 100,000 posts you might regret that deleted content.
  4. Actually size doesn't matter :cautious: I highly doubt deleting 10,000 posts will have any impact on hosting costs unless your database is rammed full of embeded images. Text fills no space at all.
  5. Keeping an audit trail of unwanted content is important. It allows us to help identify persistent spammers and trouble makers. It can also help safeguard you if legal matters or disputes arise.
In short; don't do it :)
 

Abizaga

I am a tuna sandwich!
Joined
Apr 11, 2008
Messages
511
Only time I ever did was when I completely repurposed my old forum into the current one, from a largely general discussion board to a nostalgia one. With the huge amount of geberal discussion content on the site at the time, I felt it would have been harder to distinguish it's new niche in the sea of topics about basically... well anything so I opted to just start the whole thing over.
 

AlexTheBat

Aspirant
Joined
Apr 21, 2020
Messages
41
I've never deleted a single post or thread in 20+ years of running or managing forums. If content gets posted that isn't wanted or is against a forum's terms then it gets moved to a 'dump box' aka a sub-forum/node, out of site of the general membership.

There are a multitude of reasons for this...
  1. I consider all old content to have value. If I start to delete it then I might as well move to a Facebook group where only new content has value.
  2. Members might not take kindly if their post count suddenly diminishes.
  3. Size matters! As you move closer to a mile stone i.e. 100,000 posts you might regret that deleted content.
  4. Actually size doesn't matter :cautious: I highly doubt deleting 10,000 posts will have any impact on hosting costs unless your database is rammed full of embeded images. Text fills no space at all.
  5. Keeping an audit trail of unwanted content is important. It allows us to help identify persistent spammers and trouble makers. It can also help safeguard you if legal matters or disputes arise.
In short; don't do it :)

These are all really good points. I wasn't even thinking about post counts, but you're definitely right that that would really tick off some users.

Personally; I think the only content I have ever deleted off of a forum has been automated spam that made it past registration. I've never really found the point in keeping that stuff, even in a hidden archive.

I have locked old threads before though, and I'd say that's a better way to handle content you don't want resurrected or hidden. Prevents it from being brought back up but preserves the public record.
 

deslocotoco

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 23, 2016
Messages
197
I confess that I'm having some trouble with delete/non-delete protocols on my Forum (is a big board).

I give the option to the user soft-delete/edit their posts with unlimited time, and this some times causes some performance issues with the server. But well, is a option that i give. And if i do not give this option, the rain of complains start like Twitter with the non-edit button issue.

Another point, i have a very big thread with more than 16k pages (25 posts/page) and this thread i have almost sure that is broke inside my database, with no chance to 'recover'. Was the first thread on my Forum and many users who deleted their accounts, left a lot of "guest posts" in this thread.

Ask me if i can erase this kind of posts or any posts in this thread? Specially the first ones? No way dude. Sometimes i can even delete and mysteriously the post resuscitate after some time.

My server always almost shutdown every time that i do that. And man, i tried everything, from using VPS, dedicated server, VPS again, another dedicated server on another country. If you ask my opinion, i just want to delete the whole thread and start all over.

I don't think XenForo does a good job in terms of deleting, batch updating posts or any kind of 'maintenance' stuff, just the bare minimum. I always see a lot of people complaining about this basics features and the lack of. I have to rely on add-ons to achieve some minimal clean house administration.

For organization purposes, every week i delete all soft deleted posts/threads from my board, there is no reason to keep it. Just fill the database with empty and useless data.

And i have some very hard strict politics about inactive users, self delete account and this kind of thing, specially to comply with GDPR:

- Inactive users are deleted from database after 6 months of inactivity (no login, visits, etc);
- Users who don't confirm their e-mail address or any kind of bounce, are deleted after 3 days;
- Self deleted users are given the option before the process, to delete their posts if they want. We don't have legal obligation to do so.
- In every case, i anonymize the posts, keeping then visible;
- Our GDPR law in my country demands that we keep 6 months records in logs, and, only by Judicial demand to identify or remove the post from the platform. Never happened and I'm keeping the compliance if ever happens with me.

My Forum was the first one in my country to implement this rules, just after GDPR was approved on Europe. In my country, the GDPR was approved some years later.

Yeah, this kind of stuff seems to be useless, but is a good way to keep my BD clean, but i have to agree with zappaDPJ, some situations require a more attention, like:
- Big Threads;
- Threads with very big social interest;
- Threads with high SEO score;
- Informative posts;
- Etc.

In this cases, i just change the author OP and the game keeps going.

But, another big complain again with XenForo: like i stated before, the maintenance background is very shallow and not helpful at all for administrators, specially with big boards.

Attachments is a trouble for me. My solution? The Attachments Add-On from Theme House, now, i can set a limit for each user group (50MB in the 'free plan') and the user can control their own stuff.

BTW, nice to see Theme House changing their directions to a more 'open source' approach, giving the developers to develope more and more their add-ons, since the 'features' requisitions to TH was not a very big concern for then. But man, how many good add-ons their have. I'm happy to see that the vast majority is going to be open.

But how i know if the attachment was deleted after the soft delete? No clue. I don't even know if XenForo does that, if do, great. If not, well, lets seek more space in the future.

Sorry for the big outburst.
 

.Rogue

The Thinker
Joined
Aug 19, 2006
Messages
339
The only time I delete content would be from members who have deleted their accounts and this is on a case by case for each member as it depends on how much it may upset the etiquette of the forum thread layout.

For the rest, if a member has deleted their account and participated with hundreds of posts, I will archive their threads.

Any old posts from members never get deleted.
 
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