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I have a website that works like a forum but not exactly. Here, users can create their content of threads while any user can add their posts to this thread. However, the thread creator has editorial rights and all action controls on the thread so that, they can delete posts of other users. Also, the creator can open/close the thread at anytime.

The idea is, the creator of the thread is expected to put most of the posts in the thread but if they want and permit, others can contribute the thread too.

The question is: Whenever a thread creator deletes a single or multiple posts that contributors added to the thread, should we send a notification to the user who posted it that their post was deleted by the thread owner?

I know that comments should be deleted silently, but the posts sent by the user also showed on their profile and they make up the thread whereas comments are detached. Also any other suggestions would be appreciated.

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  • I think it's better to give option to the user to get notified for different actions on your platform (eg; when someone replies to their post, when their post get deleted etc) and let the user decide when s/he wants to get notified in their account settings under Account > Notifications. – Ades Jun 11 '20 at 9:05
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Even it's a matter of choice as you explicitly told by,

"I know that comments should be deleted silently"

I don't see any benefit here by not notifying user that his/her comments or posts deleted or removed. It's easy to ran into similar situation a lot when blocking performed by someone you are directly in relationship.

Even there are apps that handle this very successfully by letting end user know that it's not possible to contact with the same person again, the rest of the apps mostly behaves like the conversation or the interaction with this people (so the comments, posts, messages, threads) deprecated as they never exists which causes friction on user's perspective.

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  • Nice answer thank you. Let me explain a bit: THE thread is related to cat photos everybody is posting cat photos but this new user posts dog photos so his posts are deleted by the thread owner. So should I notify the user that "Hey your posts on Thread #456 were removed by the Thread Owner #44". Do existing forums do this? – Avadhesh J Jun 13 '20 at 6:09
  • Well, I can suggest you a point of view to apply without not taking care of what others do: What happens if I notify or what happens when I don't? Evaluating the situations in that manner will drive you far best according to that specific case. Like in this scenario, if you notify the user, you don't loose anything other than acknowledging one of your product's customer; and if you don't notify him/her, (s)he'd be trying to find this post and might get frustrated that your platform even didn't mention it. It's not even different than other notifications I suppose. – Erhan Yaşar Jun 13 '20 at 15:59
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Perhaps you can make this a choice on the deletion confirmation screen, such as via a checkbox that says "Notify commenter".

A thread owner might want to notify the commenter of the deletion with an explanation ("Sorry, dog photos are not relevant to the topic") -- this is what's done here on StackExchange. A comment can be useful to smooth things over, or prevent "Why did you do that?" follow-up messages.

On the other hand, the thread owner might wish to delete a comment that is threatening or harassing, and not wish to engage with the commenter any further. Also, if the comment was spam, there's no reason to notify the commenter.

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