Consider disabling or tuning "Automatically removed quote of whole previous post"

I quoted this post

with the following added information

Immediately after I submitted it, the system stripped the quote from my reply with “Automatically removed quote of whole previous post” as the reason given. Because the first sentence directly refers to the text I quoted, it no longer makes complete sense, and because there’s no “in reply to” indicator displayed over the top of my post, it’s not immediately obvious that you need to read the prior post to get the full context.

I reverted the edit.

At first I didn’t even realize the system had edited my post; I thought maybe I had made a mistake and forgot to quote the post until I saw the pencil icon. This also made me go back and check through my post history and realize that this isn’t the first post of mine where this has happened.

I understand that the point of this feature may be to prevent page-long posts quoted verbatim from interrupting discussion, but for short, single sentence posts it makes no sense.

This is also personal opinion but I think it is incredibly invasive and patronizing to have a forum that silently edits posts to suit some submission guideline. When I post something to the Internet, I put effort into formatting my post in a way that I believe makes consuming the information in the post as easy as possible. Having the site automatically undo that effort is frustrating.


Yeah, I can see why that would be frustrating.

The thinking behind this “feature” (or perhaps bug, in this case), is that quoting a whole post is equivalent to just replying to the post itself.

If you reply to a post, you can click on the top-right hand side of your post (there’s an arrow pointing to the user name you’re replying to) that will expand out their entire post inline.

I can imagine this being annoying if you have long and short posts combined and you’re trying to quote independent pieces of each. For short replies, it is the whole post you’d be quoting.

Question for you @castholm, given that you can expand the post you’re replying to, does that change your opinion?

Let’s bring in the man behind the curtain here - @dude_the_builder, any thoughts?

Anyhow, sorry that’s frustrating @castholm and thanks for formatting your thoughts into a productive post. I think there’s a point to be made here.


Yes, having the forum software edit your post automatically is definitely intrusive. On the other hand, Discourse (the forum software we’re using) has quite of few of these types of automatic actions that are mostly safeguards against spammers and abusive users. I’ve already witnessed several instances in which these safeguards have indeed worked and protected the forum from abuse. And in a forum with a limited number of moderators, this can be very valuable indeed. So I apologize for the inconvenience, and will do some research on this particular behavior to see if we can tweak it, but for the moment, we’ll have to deal with it as-is.


The problem is that it is a reply (not an independent message that just happens to quote a different post), it’s just not obvious which post it is a reply to. Check this other post of mine for example: Null terminated array of strings from C function - #6 by castholm

This is what that post looks like on my end (I double checked in an incognito tab and it looks the same there as an unauthenticated visitor as well):

There’s no indication which post this is a follow up to (if any at all). But, if I edit it
I can see that it was a reply to tgirod. But this information is only visible to me, and only when editing, and it doesn’t even tell me which post specifically.

I do see an arrow pointing to a user name on some different posts, but not all. It seems to me like the “expand” arrow is only visible if the post isn’t a reply to the post immediately before it, but I can’t know for sure what the exact mechanics are. Maybe this is an intentional quirk of Discourse, but the behavior is not obvious at all and it makes the conversation more difficult to follow.


Ok, so I found a couple of options that remove the reply-to indicator if the reply is to the post immediately above it. I disabled this so now the reply-to indicator should always appear if you’re replying to a specific post and not the entire thread.

Regarding the auto-removal of quotes, I found the setting to disble that too, but didn’t disbale it just yet since it points to this explanation which to me makes sense. Basically a workaround would be to not make the quote the very first thing in your post and then it wouldn’t satisfy the cirtera for removal.

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The reply-to indicator on all posts makes things a lot less ambiguous, thanks for looking into it. (Though it does also add an “N Reply/ies” to every replied-to post which might get noisy.)

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It makes some messages less ambiguous (since previously there was no way to distinguish general messages in a thread from replies to the last post, other than content). But it now hides the immediate replies, since immediate replies look the same as not immediate replies.

I definitely prefer the previous way, that immediate replies and general messages in a thread look the same way, and not the current version, where immediate replies and replies to older posts look the same. A thread could be read mostly continuously, and the reply indicator indicated that something was a reply to an older post. Now I have to check every message what are they replying to.

Without the reply indicator, how will you know if it’s a reply to the opening post/the general subject of the thread or the above post?

To make a point, this post is not a reply to @bmacho’s post above, but a standalone post to the thread made by clicking “Reply” on the bottom of the page. With immediate reply indicators disabled, you won’t be able to tell what it’s in reply to and whether or not you need to read the above post to get the full context.

This is a bit off topic, this topic reminded me of something I read once, I don’t quite remember, but will paraphrase anyway “a discussion isn’t complete until you have discussed the means of discussion”.

I am not being serious here, just thought it was funny, I agree with the raised concerns, I just don’t know what to do about them, seems like a pick your poison situation…

Unless somebody wants to spend time customizing discourse, I doubt there is a solution that satisfies everyone, I am talking about the reply indicators here.