I was pinged earlier in a chat room with an abusive message. Because I wasn't around at the time it went right to my inbox.

Chat moderation removed the message before I even knew it existed, which I'm very thankful for. But the notification about that message is still in my inbox, so I still have a pretty vile message directed at me sitting there in my global inbox. I don't think that should exist by design; it's a way to ensure your abuse gets across to a person even if it's later removed.

So my suggestion: If a message is deleted as rude/abusive in chat, any inbox notifications coming from its mentions should be deleted too.

I would also accept just being able to delete items from my inbox outright. I think this is better though—if someone's getting abused in chat we shouldn't have to make them wade through cleaning up the mess themselves, we should ensure they don't have to see the abuse to begin with.

I'm going to get some folks to ping me to clear it out, so it'll be gone, but that's a workaround, and it's work I'd like others dealing with abuse to not have to go through.

  • I think this is a specific subset of the situation that needs attention on its own and is worth discussing.I don't think we ought to be too hasty to dupe close. Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 0:55
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    I just don’t understand why this isn’t more of a priority to address. Maybe it doesn’t happen that often, but when it does it’s a horrible experience which has an impact that isn’t mitigated by its infrequency. If it’s too hard to clear the notifications, then replace them with “This message was flagged as rude or abusive” as is done for posts.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 1:34
  • Frankly - if chat gets back on the radar, this is something I think we get folks to look at.... Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 1:39
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    @JourneymanGeek It’s not just chat that’s the problem. People can post and delete terrible comments that get stuck forever in people’s inboxes as far as I know.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 1:49
  • Pretty sure non mod comments don't stick around. I could be wrong though. If it affected the main site - It probably should be a very important thing to fix. Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 1:53
  • @JourneymanGeek It’s possible it changed, but I have been informed directly that those comments don’t get removed. I’ll see if I can find the comments later. It’s late here and while I don’t turn into a pumpkin after my bedtime, I do get as dumb as one :) It’s possible I’ve conflated two unrelated things. I don’t see notifications from some deleted comments from earlier.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 2:07
  • No particular rush, and If its the case its an issue that ought to be brought up. Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 2:10
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    @JourneymanGeek This is what I was thinking of… meta.stackexchange.com/a/359719/273494 If you view the notification for the comment in your inbox and after that the comment is deleted, the notification stays in your inbox. We don't delete notifications that you have already seen.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 2:20
  • Yeah, feels like a distinct issue, just as worth bringing up. Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 2:22
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    @JourneymanGeek I fail to see how this is distinct from the duplicate. Both are about a rude/abusive message in chat, deleted by flags and still in the inbox, and both request for this behavior to be changed.
    – bobble
    Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 2:32
  • 1
    @JourneymanGeek Do you not feel you can mark either this post or the original post as status-review? Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 7:11
  • Its not on the roadmap - I'd rather time it so it gets there at the right time - as folks are looking at it rather than languish in the queue. I have this on my radar - but I'm waiting for it to be on SE's. The other question is broader and might get there sooner Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 7:24
  • 2
    @JourneymanGeek: Personally, I think it's better to add the tag so that the team is aware of it - worst-case scenario, it'll be [status-deferred], in which case you can still bring it up again later anyway. Unless I'm misunderstanding what you mean?
    – V2Blast
    Commented Nov 2, 2021 at 15:48
  • Well, you're not - and well, if you feel its something that ought to be on the radar (cause even these days, SE's priorities are at best translucent :D), I'm good with a retag Commented Nov 3, 2021 at 0:35

2 Answers 2


So my suggestion: If a message is deleted as rude/abusive in chat, any inbox notifications coming from its mentions should be deleted too.

Captain Picard says "and so it is done".

The change went live earlier this month. If you see any issues, please let us know.

  • 9
    Tempting to test this. If I could only find someone to insult ...
    – rene
    Commented Jan 19, 2022 at 19:27
  • 6
    @rene YOUR FATHER WAS A HAMSTER, AND YOUR MOTHER SMELT OF ELDERBERRIES! BEGONE! BEFORE I BREAK WIND IN YOUR GENERAL DIRECTION! (for science. Seek professional advice before assuming rodent patrimony. Smells may vary. If loss of smell detected, seek medical advice) Commented Jan 19, 2022 at 23:06
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    Such notifications about rude non-chat Q&A comments also seem to be cleared from the inbox now. But although now not appearing in inboxes they are nevertheless still later emailed. I guess per SO user profile email setting for "Inbox" "Answers to your questions, comments, chat notifications, and more". The email subject is about n "new items in your Stack Exchange inbox" & the body says "The following items were added to your inbox since you last checked it". Such emails get sent mentioning inbox notifications hours after they have been seen and/or deleted.
    – philipxy
    Commented Feb 3, 2022 at 6:49
  • Can you respond to my comment?
    – philipxy
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 7:17
  • @philipxy They... shouldn't be getting emailed. Assuming the emails weren't sent before the comments were removed, please submit a separate bug report for this so we can track and look into it.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 19:04

I think this ought to be done.

When moderating things like this - the fundamental goal is to reduce the harm on the person who's targeted, and leaving those messages where they can be seen seems contrary to that.

Something worth considering in this is - there's two classes of flags we need to think about.

enter image description here

I definitely think flag-nuking with the spam/abusive flag should go away. We might also want a mechanism for removing a "flag for moderator attention" post from the inbox. I've often seen people flag things with that which need to be gone but people felt it needed more context.

enter image description here

Maybe something in this dialog that lets me pick purging from inbox would be nice.

  • Should they perhaps be hidden by default? Much as I shouldn't like to get rude/abusive messages in my inbox, if I do I'd prefer to know about it. Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 23:48
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    Oh I can think of a few cases where I'd not want to see the post again - and I don't think it should always be on the affected party to 'choose' to see abusive messages or not. I guess opting in to see this might be an option Commented Oct 31, 2021 at 0:37

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