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Warning: Transcript links may contain spoilers for Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones.

Today, @Jenayah brought my attention to this case when she asked what happened to a message she had posted in chat. On mobile (but not on desktop), I was able to see that a message had been deleted just above, and, since I'm a moderator on chat.SE, I can see deleted messages. So I checked the history of the message to see what had happened to the message.

This is what I found:

Current version: Jenayah: (removed) Message history: (no history available)

There is no trace of the original message left.

So, at a glance, this looks like what we do when someone accidentally posts PII in chat: edit the message to remove the information, delete the message, and then purge the history to delete all of the history of the message, leaving only the last iteration. The question would then be, who did it and why?

So, I asked a CM if they can see what had happened. The answer I got was no, they can't see anything there that I hadn't known already.

However, I then realized that actually, this isn't exactly what happens when a mod has to completely purge a message. I experimented a drop, and I was unable to replicate what had happened to the message. I was able to post a message, edit it, delete it, and purge it - but the end result was then different from what had happened above:

Last version before deletion: Mithrandir: (removed) (not deleted) Message history: (no history available)

Here, instead of "current version" as in the message that sparked this whole thing, it's "last version before deletion", and it doesn't show the grayed-out (removed) - it shows what I edited it to before deleting it (which, in this case, was (removed) - that may have been a bit confusing. Sorry.).

So... What happened to this message that it was removed so thoroughly, and why this message?

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    To be clear here the message apparently only said "@ankit congrats!" so it doesn't even look like it warranted deletion in the first place. – TheLethalCoder May 3 at 10:11
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    I can confirm that the "version" headings aren't related to you deleting your own stuff. I see the same content as you for both deletion/purges. – Snow May 3 at 10:18
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I experimented a drop, and I was unable to replicate what had happened to the message.

Just tested. You'll get the first case if you edit and delete all the characters of a message from the transcript (with your mod powers), and then purge the history. Note that it's not possible to edit to remove all the characters of a message from within a chat room, but it's possible from the transcript (this may be a bug).

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    That is... odd. – user58 May 3 at 10:29
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    The logical follow up is of course then why was this message deleted? I suppose we won't know that until whoever did it comes forth to explain. – TheLethalCoder May 3 at 10:33
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    Now, the question is just who and why. – user58 May 3 at 10:33
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    @Blue congratulating Ankit on getting a Marvel tag badge isn't a spoiler x) – Jenayah May 3 at 10:40
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    Pretty sure we did something similar for PII nuking in the past. – Journeyman Geek May 3 at 10:47

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