This feature request touches on this issue, although from a different angle than what I'd like to propose here.

Once in a while moderators and the community team have to investigate various chat incidents. We can see deleted chat messages if we're in the room itself, but often these incidents occurred a few hours or even days in the past and it can be rather hard to navigate to the right spot to look things up.

When some sort of chat altercation is reported, we usually get a link to the transcript, which is great but removed messages don't show up in the transcript at all.

I propose we show them the same way as we do in the room itself if the person looking at the transcript is a moderator (or a room owner) and allow the deleted message's history to be looked up directly from the transcript as well.

  • 1
    Could that be extended so that room owners who can normally see deleted messages in chat can also see them in the transcript? Sep 11, 2013 at 21:01
  • 1
    @JonClements That seems reasonable; request updated.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Sep 11, 2013 at 21:18

2 Answers 2


Done, with two small differences,

  1. As you already know, the community team discussed this and concluded that this functionality should not be available to "simple" room owners, and I agree with that. So this is moderator-only.

  2. In addition to being a moderator, you also have to have room owner powers. This additional restriction is almost purely academic, because in public and gallery rooms, all moderators have automatic room owner powers anyway.

  • 2
    Why do you think this shouldn't be available to "simple" room owners? Is there any possibility of revisiting this feature?
    – DJMcMayhem
    Aug 31, 2017 at 14:42

I'll go even further, there should be a button for mods to display all removed messages in the main chat window and transcript. Investigating an issue where several messages have been deleted is a serious pain, you have to open each message individually to see what it contained before it was deleted.

The whole thing should work like deleted comments on the main site, one click to make all deleted messages visible.

  • I use javascript:$('.message:has(.deleted)').each(function(){var mid=this.id.split('-')[1];$.get('http://chat.stackexchange.com/messages/'+mid+'/history',function(data){$('#message-'+mid).css('color','red').html($(data).find('.message:eq(0)').html())})}) Sep 11, 2013 at 21:08

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