Inactive accounts will be deleted — Discourse and Ghost upgrade

I’ve upgraded Discourse and Ghost and there have been a few changes that people will notice as they use the forum and publishing system.

One of the new features I noticed is that inactive forum accounts will be deleted automatically. By default Discourse checks for 730 days of inactivity. UPDATE: And whether you’ve posted anything ever.

Let me know if you think that will cause a problem.

Other notable features:

  1. Users can tombstone and close their own topics that have not received any replies. Actual deletion happens after 24 hours.

  2. Users have more granular controls over how frequently they receive e-mails from the forum, and unsubscribing from updates is easier.

  3. New English locale added with international date standards. I’ll be changing ours to something more sane than the US default immediately!

  4. Defer topics — You can now enable a feature in your user settings to allow you to mark a topic as unread so you can remember to come back to it later. Now Discourse too can start looking like my e-mail inbox! (204,554 unread e-mails and counting.)

  5. Early support for the following emoji has allegedly been added (though, at the time of publication, only :auto_rickshaw: appeared to work.):
    :brown_square: :purple_square: :blue_square: :green_square: :yellow_square: :orange_square: :red_square: :brown_circle: :purple_circle: :green_circle: :yellow_circle: :orange_circle: :razor: :chair: :stethoscope: :adhesive_bandage: :drop_of_blood: :probing_cane: :axe: :diya_lamp: :banjo: :ballet_shoes: :shorts: :briefs: :one_piece_swimsuit: :sari: :safety_vest: :diving_mask: :auto_rickshaw: :motorized_wheelchair: :manual_wheelchair: :hindu_temple: :maté: :beverage_box: :oyster: :butter: :falafel: :onion: :garlic: :skunk: :guide_dog: :people_holding_hands: :woman_in_manual_wheelchair: :man_in_manual_wheelchair: :woman_in_motorized_wheelchair: :man_in_motorized_wheelchair: :woman_with_probing_cane: :man_with_probing_cane: :woman_kneeling: :man_kneeling: :man_standing: :woman_standing: :deaf_woman: :deaf_man: :hear_with_hearing_aid: :mechanical_leg: :mechanical_arm: :white_heart: :brown_heart:

Here’s more detail from the Discourse patch notes — sorry about the confusion regarding the inactive account deletion. It’s really only for completely inactive accounts.


Add page for all group membership requests

There’s also news regarding groups. Now we have a dedicated page to handle requests to join groups:

User and group cards on mobile

The ability to open user cards on mobile with a tap on the user avatar has been now implemented in the Discourse core. At the same time the theme component Mobile user-cards has been deprecated.

Add every month / 6 months options to email digest

The frequency with which to send email digests has two new entries. Now you can choose to send the summary emails monthly or even every six months.

Allow categories to be prioritized/deprioritized in search

This is a request that has been made to us many times. It is now possible to increase or decrease (even exclude) the priority of a category in site searches from the settings of each category:

Custom colors for default letter avatars

We want to make Discourse as customizable as possible which is why we introduced the new site setting restrict letter avatar colors . It will allow site owners to choose the background colors that the default avatars can use.

Add more granular user option levels for email notifications

This feature migrates email user options to a new data structure:

  • email_messages_level , with options: always , only_when_away and never (defaults to always )
  • email_level , with options: always , only_when_away and never (defaults to only_when_away )

The respective default site settings have also been migrated.

Exposing a way to add a generic report filter

We have added a filter in the Top Uploads report that will allow you to filter the attachments based on the extension and sort them by size and type of extension

Enforce two-factor authentication

Another addition to the 2 Factor Authentication feature. The new site setting enforce second factor will allow site admins to request the 2FA for all users or just for staff.

Support custom icons in themes

This feature enables developers to add their own custom icons in their themes. To do so, simply add an SVG sprite file in your assets, and reference it in about.json, like so:

"assets": {
    "icons-sprite": "assets/icons-sprite.svg"

The sprite file should contain a list of <symbol> elements with ids, each of which will be automatically registered and added to the site’s icon set.

This function also automatically registers any custom icons added via plugins.

Add tag classes to topics in topics list view

This feature allows you to select and then customize only the topics based on tags. This improvement has been discussed in Highlighting certain topics in topic list view .

Delete accounts that have never participated, are trust level 0 and have not been seen in 2 years

Discourse now includes a new site setting called clean up inactive users after days this is set 730 days by default.

Once a day Discourse will find all user accounts that

  • Never posted anything on Discourse
    • If you posted something and then deleted it you will not be eligible for clean up.
  • Have not been seen for clean up inactive users after days
  • Are trust level zero

This change is in place so Discourse default protects end users and removes emails of completely unused accounts.

Let users delete their own topics

Allow end users to tombstone and close the topic if it has no replies (waiting 24 hours till actual deletion).

Introducing new UI for tracking User’s ignored or muted states

  1. Add ignore duration selection for user notifications preferences page
    Introducing new UI for tracking User’s ignored or muted states
    Ability to Ignore a User

  1. Introduce ignore duration selection

Ability to restrict some tags to a category while allowing all others

A new checkbox has been added to the Tags tab of the category settings modal
which is used when some tags and/or tag groups are restricted to the category,
and all other unrestricted tags should also be allowed.
Default is the same as the previous behaviour: only allow the specified set of
tags and tag groups in the category.

Unicode username support

While Discourse has long supported Unicode Full Names for users, usernames had been restricted to ASCII characters only. Site admins can now allow use of Unicode characters is usernames and group names via the unicode usernames site setting. Admins can also limit which unicode characters can be used with the unicode username character whitelist site setting.

Staff Notices

In Discourse 2.3.0.beta4 we added a special call-out notice for new/returning users. Staff can now add custom call-outs above posts, which appear similar to the new user first post call-out.

Digest email unsubscribe improvements

We don’t want users to receive emails that they do not want. We make unsubscribing easy, with a link in the footer as well as by replying with the word unsubscribe in the body. Sometimes, however, users just want less emails, not none. Now they are given the option of how frequently they want to receive digest emails, in addition to the option to fully unsubscribe.

Suggested unread topics are now restricted to 90 day old topics

See the linked #feature:announcements topic from Sam for full details:

User preference for title counter mode

Previously, when a Discourse site was in a background tab, the tab title is updated with a counter of new topics/posts within the tab. Now, the count indicated the number of notifications. Users can update choose whichever option they prefer with the new Background page title displays count of user preference (interface tab).

Account Activation Reminder email

Users who do not activate their accounts now receive a single reminder email 2 days after they first sign up.

New groups page layout

We’ve updated the layout the groups page to feel less like an admin page (which it previously was). Groups are now displayed in a card layout, and displays the group full name, group icon, and description. Groups can also be quickly searched for, and filtered by type.

Improved local-dates form

Need to insert a date/time into your post, but have users in different timezones? Take advantage of local-dates, which displays the date/time in the local timezone for the user viewing the post. No need to list the date is 5 timezones, let Discourse do the work for you! Dates/times can be a single point in time, or a range from one time to another. For complicated cases, users can enable advanced mode to modify the date/time display format, enable recurrence, and more.

To insert a local-date, click the calendar icon from the composer toolbar. image

Sample local date: 2019-04-26T20:00:00Z (April 26, 4PM EDT)


Improved tag muting behavior

Previously, if multiple tags were included for a topic, and a user only muted some of the tags, the topic would still appear for the user. Now if a user mutes a tag, any topics including that tag will be muted for the user and hidden from /latest , even if the user tracks or watches other tags. This is controlled by the site setting mute_other_present_tags , default enabled. For more details, see Visibility of topics when Muted from tags .

Improved the display of polls when oneboxed

Oneboxes now include a link to the poll, instead of listing all poll options in line.

English locale with international date formats

How do you like your dates? 02/12 or 12/02 ? Is that February 12th or December 2nd? What about 2 Feb 2012 vs Feb 2, 2012 ?

Well, now you can choose! Discourse historically shipped with US-style dates in our English locale. This is still the default, but for those who like the British or International date style, check out the new English locale. (The new default locale is English (United States) ) These changes only affect date/time, we didn’t start adding “random” u 's to words or replacing z with s throughout the text content :stuck_out_tongue:.

Note: if you prefer analysing data while eating a colourful, flavourful doughnut in the theatre, don’t forget that all text in Discourse can be customized, so you don’t have to spell like those of us who wasted an entire shipment of tea :wink:.

Admin Dashboard update

Ever wondered when your site was last updated? Wanted to see at a glance when your last backup was taken, and where it’s stored? Our updated site info panel in the lower left of the dashboard has been updated to show just that. For local uploads/backups, we’ll display both the used storage space as well as free space. For S3 uploads/backups, only used space is shown.

Notify users on wiki edits

Users watching topics with a wiki will now be notified when the wiki is edited, even if they are not the original wiki author.

Category Review/Moderation by a non-staff group

A commonly requested feature from our community is category moderation. We’ve taken a big first step towards supporting this by adding the ability for a custom group to be granted post and flag review for topics within a specific category. For full details, and to provide feedback, see Category Group Review/Moderation

Defer topics

Ever wish you could mark a topic as “unread”, so you can come back to it later? Wish no more! You can now defer topics so they appear unread when you need to find them again. To enable defer, visit the Interface user preferences tab and check Enable defer to mark topics unread .

Native date picker on mobile

Discourse now supports native date pickers on mobile, making topic timer creation even easier to complete.


The major change in Ghost is that you can now see a preview of the site from the admin area.

(This hasn’t fixed the issue we have with post previews just yet… I’m still looking into that.)


I’m pretty sure our little site hasn’t been around for 730 yet, so I don’t think this will be a massive issue.


Two years is more than long enough to consider an account inactive. Does the system send out a final warning email or two a month/week/day before dropping the axe?


I hope so, if that is the case, with an email sent to them as a warning. But 2 years inactivity is a good base line to get kicked off. I like the idea tho - we do not need the inactives :stuck_out_tongue:


Not sure about the e-mail, but I think it filters on more than two years of inactivity. I think it only deletes 0 post accounts.

So if you go on hiatus for two years you won’t suddenly come back to find all your posts gone.

Also: I suspect reading posts counts as an activity.


That should be fine then.

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I have updated the OP with the patch notes. Enjoy!