How Can I Delete A PM?

My inbox is full and I can’t figure out how to delete old mail. I will note that I would like to keep SOME of my old messages, I’m not looking to get rid of everything, but I would like to delete selected messages.

Maybe I’m getting too old for computers…?

I need to delete too. I thought I had deleted everything in PMs. But I’m getting old and new ones all mingle up together.

If you click that bullet-list icon at the top (it says Select Messages when you hover), you’ll get check boxes next to each message and an Archive button will show. It doesn’t actually delete them, but at least it moves it out of your inbox.

Based on some cursory research I’ve done over the past day apparently you CAN’T delete a PM on this forum. You CAN’T. You can move things to archive, but that’s it.

WTF? No delete? Who thought THAT was a good idea?

I don’t know. But it’s a bug that needs tending, OR a sticky informing one and all that anything written to another Doper lasts forever.

Kind of weird.

From what I read about Discourse, it’s not a bug but done deliberately. Something about not deleting a conversation or something. If so, clearly thought up by someone who has never been harassed or the target of a bully.

A few years ago I was the target of some extremely unpleasant people who PM’d on this forum (since banned) calling me an ugly whore and blaming me for my sister’s suicide. Yeah, I want to keep THAT for eternity… :roll_eyes: As just one example of why preserving something forever to “encourage discourse” is not always a good idea.

From what I read, a mod can delete a PM “conversation” for you, which also deletes it for all participants, along with some glurge about how the designers want to encourage discussion and not have one participant unilaterally withdraw, about how important it is to preserve conversations. As best I remember - it made me quite angry, as someone who has been a target of harassment and bullying, and remembering how the people running the SDMB have, in the past, dismissed the entire concept of bullying.

I hasten to add that the people here in the past who dismissed my concerns (until the PM’s telling me to kill myself popped up) are no longer here.

Anyhow, apparently the people who came up with this software don’t actually consider a PM to be private in the sense they were in other software. They actually think of them as some sort of commonly owned public communication, even if the audience is limited. Like a different way of posting.

Not the way I would have designed things.

At least, that’s my understanding at the moment. It’s possible I got something wrong there. If someone finds out differently by all means enlighten all of us.

This a terrific argument for installing a delete function. Sorry to hear about the bullying Broomstick.

No, that’s pretty much my take on it, too. Sorry people did that to you.

The fact is, some of those PM’s were so over the top I actually laughed when I read them. But I was also disturbed, and definitely someone less experienced with life, bullying, and mentally more fragile might have been much worse affected.

The matter was (eventually) resolved to my satisfaction.

But yeah, “delete” is not always a negative thing.

One of the things hammered into programmers is, never delete anything. Instead, use a “soft” delete where the data is flagged to be hidden but still exists. There are valid reasons for this general rule: deleting something will break any links to other data, you lose any audit capabilities if you need a record of what it was or who deleted it, and you lose the ability to perform data analysis with it.

But there are two problems here with that rule: first, they didn’t implement it properly, because the messages aren’t hidden, they’re just moved to a different folder. And second, they either didn’t ask themselves if the normal rules for data retention applied to PMs, or they asked and came up with the wrong answer. Private messages are a special beast, and deletion should be allowed.