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Revisiting this old issue.

One of my biggest issues with chat is that after just two minutes, not only can we not edit messages, but we also cannot delete them. While I am not advocating for an unlimited delete feature, I'm suggesting a compromise that allows us to delete (but not edit) messages that are more than two minutes old, but not indefinitely: 5 to 15 minutes would be sufficient.

To protect against abuse, this would be balanced against a limit of two to five such deletions within a one- to four-hour (or similar) period, and/or an autoflag if a user makes excessive use of this feature.

I realize that this will add complexity, but the alternative is currently to flag for mod attention each time someone erroneously posts personal information and it needs to be removed. Quite often, this happens shortly after the two-minute edit window has passed. The mod flag safety net would still be there for those edge cases where an older message indeed needs to be removed.

Your thoughts?

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  • Do people actually post PII in chat often enough to warrant a feature change rather than letting it be handled case by case by a mod? I suspect this would be used more often for questionable things people post that they want to delete so that it won't later be flagged as rude/offensive.
    – Kevin B
    Dec 18, 2018 at 19:47
  • Good point, but that's why there would be a limit and possibly an autoflag. Besides, room owners can still see deleted messages and we can (usually) trust room owners to not misuse this information. In any case, I've expanded the suggested limit and time range for this feature to account for this possibility.
    – bwDraco
    Dec 18, 2018 at 19:48
  • I think i'd rather give RO's that ability, and therefore eliminate the "Trashcan" rooms that RO's have to use to remove garbage currently.
    – Kevin B
    Dec 18, 2018 at 19:54
  • 2
    I actually prefer trashcans.... If a conversation goes off the rails, it's really obvious something happened if you delete the messages. If you move them, it can draw less attention. Both have their place.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Dec 18, 2018 at 20:02
  • And of course, a mod can always delete messages in the trashcans themselves en masse after some time.
    – bwDraco
    Dec 18, 2018 at 20:03
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    Or move them back... Moving messages isn't destructive. Deleting can't be undone.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Dec 18, 2018 at 20:05
  • As I stated in chat, I think deleting messages is annoying, and should be something done only when there's the problem of such, like PII. This isn't what you actually want however, you regularly edit/re-edit and delete your own messages. Maybe instead take longer to think them over. Dec 18, 2018 at 20:40
  • I'd prefer to allow users to edit but not delete chat messages. Dec 19, 2018 at 5:31
  • IMO the 2 minute period is fine enough to read over your chat-msg and change a word or two - a longer period will lead people to write more nonsense without rethinking before they hit enter..
    – iLuvLogix
    Dec 19, 2018 at 9:36

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