Download Forum History or Single Topics or Chat History



  • Hey there,

    I want to show my members that their posts and content truly belong to them, considering my forum's TOS grants me a license to 'display' and have their content on my server.

    I know Discourse has this option; don't know if NodeBB would be willing to do the same. It's one of those major 'selling points' that I can't part with due to my forum's nature. It would be like google's takeout, where a user clicks a button to prep a 'takeout' download and they are then notified when the download is ready.

    A separate, possible option would be to allow a user to download a specific topic and its posts if they participated in that topic, and the topic was closed. The opening poster could have a separate checkbox within a specific category that is checked would make the topic downloadable, but only if the topic is closed. That way a 'takeout' can be created upon closure for allowed users to download.

    Finally, the third possible option allows the concept of PMs blend with chat, by allowing a member to save a chat history in a similar fashion. It could also de-clutter said history by deleting the history from the server once it is downloaded.

    This is similar to 'print this' options from older forum software, but I'd rather have it as a download so the user can take the data and present it as they see fit.

    The main application for this is writing and play-by-post freeform roleplay. When I used to RP on software like phpBB and the like, I'd download and save the 'print' page to achieve this. Now I use chat and instant messengers, which auto-logs for me, hence allowing me to keep my work.

    I can see this apply to any other situation, especially if a member is allowed to delete their own account. That way they can take their writing, images and content with them. It would be only fair to allow it so they feel less apprehensive signing up in the first place. As before, I speak from experience. If I can't download my content, I won't upload my content.


  • Global Moderator

    @purldator so you want to be able to download the post and all of the replies in some sort of file. Would this remove the post from the server as well? This could be done pretty easily with a plugin.



  • @pitaj Thank you for the reply.

    I am unsure what you mean by 'redone' but I feel this should be in core, considering the option to delete an account already exists in core. Just making things easier for the member to leave if they wish. I am not the type to 'lock' someone in.


  • Global Moderator

    @purldator sorry, that was a typo. It was supposed to say remove.

    I'm still not quite getting it. When a person chooses to leave, they would hit the download button, download their posts and stuff, and then all of the information related to them would be deleted from the site? All of their posts, chats, and their user account?



  • @pitaj said:

    @purldator sorry, that was a typo. It was supposed to say remove.

    I'm still not quite getting it. When a person chooses to leave, they would hit the download button, download their posts and stuff, and then all of the information related to them would be deleted from the site? All of their posts, chats, and their user account?

    No, this would allow them to take their content, not erase it. My forum's TOS (or the draft at least) is explicit in stating that the license they grant to me is 'forever' to make sure the forum's archive is kept intact, and also for any reasons that may arise due to abuse.

    I only want a member to be able to download everything, or anything that they participated in (see my second proposal in my OP) if allowed by the OP of the topic.

    Chat history would be the only thing erasable if possible after a user downloads a chat's history.


  • Global Moderator

    @purldator okay, so a plugin to fill this need would:

    Allow a user to download all of his / her content (and content they participated in) from the site (posts, chat history)
    Allow a user to optionally delete the chat history



  • @pitaj said:

    @purldator okay, so a plugin to fill this need would:

    Allow a user to download all of his / her content (and content they participated in) from the site (posts, chat history)
    Allow a user to optionally delete the chat history

    Yes, that is correct. :) Still, I believe this should be in core. If they can delete their account, at least let them take a copy of everything before they do it.


  • Global Moderator

    @purldator said:
    My forum's TOS (or the draft at least) is explicit in stating that the license they grant to me is 'forever' to make sure the forum's archive is kept intact, and also for any reasons that may arise due to abuse.

    How would you enforce this when a user can currently delete and purge their topics and posts etc. Unless you plan to specifically remove the delete buttons for everyone except admins and moderators?



  • @a_5mith said:

    @purldator said:
    My forum's TOS (or the draft at least) is explicit in stating that the license they grant to me is 'forever' to make sure the forum's archive is kept intact, and also for any reasons that may arise due to abuse.

    How would you enforce this when a user can currently delete and purge their topics and posts etc. Unless you plan to specifically remove the delete buttons for everyone except admins and moderators?

    If that's the default for a vanilla NodeBB install, then I suppose I shall keep looking elsewhere.


  • Global Moderator

    @purldator It's the case in nearly all forum platforms.

    I came from SMF, that allowed people to delete their own post. Most will allow a time to delete, but NodeBB currently doesn't. And if that time passed, most would just edit the post with -deleted- or something. Again, some allow a time limit on this too for typos and that sort of thing. But again, not currently a feature of NodeBB. :thumbsup:

    It should be very simple to remove the Delete & Purge buttons for normal users, so I wouldn't let that stop you from using NodeBB for your next project. But no forum platform would ever be perfect for every user. So it's usually a case of if enough people request a feature, it will be implemented a version or two down the line.



  • @a_5mith I fully understand that. I come from SMF, in terms of the software my community was using.

    But I am saying I've had a very serious problem before, where no time limits were set on deletion and edification. One previous member had the time and energy to go through their 200+ forum history and erase everything.

    Once bitten, twice shy. If I have to mod something but the feature still technically 'exists' (as in, it's only a cover-up on the ui) then I don't feel safe using the software.


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