Imagine a site like reddit.com. When a user creates a comment, which is subsequently removed by a moderator, it will show up as "[removed]". To the authenticated author however, it will still look like his/her comment wasn't removed.

Is it good practice to hide the fact that a submission has been removed from the author?

  • Why would you hide the fact that it has been removed due to X reason? – Alvaro Jan 25 '17 at 17:35
  • There would be less incentive for unwanted behavior in response to the removal. – Aphize_ Jan 25 '17 at 17:39

Really depends on the application, either could work as long as the user was informed.

Scenario 1)

A local newspaper I read allows users to comment on stories.

The comment section is heavily moderated, and any comments that do not meet community guidelines are removed.

Comments that a removed are immediately deleted. The OP is notified of when/ why, and that is the end of it.

The user is now aware that the comment has been removed, and there is no further action available/required on their part. Hence, there is no reason to keep the post/comment around.

This also helps keeps a clean and simple site.

Scenario 2)

An outdoor trail website I use allows users to upload trails. Trails contain a lot of information, everything from photos, directions, gps co-ordinates to maitenance/usage logs. It can take a significant amount of time to create a post/trail.

These trails are moderated by admin.

Often, if trails that are uploaded and don't meet requirements(duplicates,too short,not actually a trail, etc), moderators will remove them.

The trails/post are removed publicly, but from the OP's perspective, the trails/posts still exist and are clearly marked disabled/removed with the moderators comments.

This gives the user a chance to understand why there post was removed, and gives them an opportunity to modify it to meet requirements and re-post.

In this scenario, there is a reason to keep the posts, as further a actions can be taken. Furthermore, because of the amount of work that goes into creating a post in this scenario, it could be really annoying for users to have to re-create and re-post because of what could be fixed with a simple modification.


Depending on the scenario, either could work. But as a rule of thumb, if there are actions a user can take with these posts after a moderator removes them, then there is a clear benefit and reason to hold onto them. If there is nothing a user can do about the removed/delete post, then there is no benefit to keep them. But in both scenarios, the user needs to be clearly informed of when and why this action took place.


No, The comments are removed to maintain a clean site at the same time you should inform the user that your comment have been removed so that he gets an warning and does not post such comment in the future.


In my opinion deleted comments should remain visible to the author but should be clearly marked as deleted.

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