Quotes should not be able to be modified, or modifications should at least be marked

Currently, members can quote other people’s statements on the forum, which is a good feature. However, users may change the quote and make it appear as a statement from the original poster. This is a significant issue, especially when the original post is edited, making it impossible to know whether a user truly made a particular statement. I believe there should be an indication warning that a citation has been modified or that the feature to modify excerpts should be simply removed.
The Forum moderation team should work on implementing this feature, or contact Discourse developers as soon as possible.
Thank you.


Often in writing, quotes need added clarity. Or, they need to be changed slightly to fit in a sentence better. This is done with brackets; this is a legitimate writing technique, one that I’ve used on and off the devforum. Learn more about brackets here: https://www.strose.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Brackets-Handout-Cynthia2.pdf

For that reason, I do not think the feature to edit quotes should be removed. In addition, there is a button that allows us the see the full context of a quote:

And thus, the following is not entirely true:

All that said, modifications being marked might be a good idea. I don’t think it should be intrusive or massive on the screen, but I do see the need for it. Maybe near a quote it will have an icon that, when hovered over, will display text that says if the quote is a ‘direct quote’ or an ‘edited quote’.


Do you mean that the entire original statement can still be accessible after a post modification?

Not the entire text, only the quoted post itself, which does not include the drop-down.

I believe the drop-down button uses the quoted post in it’s most updated iteration. To clarify, I believe it simply puts the words of the original post, even if the quoted words are not in the original post. It uses the most updated version of the original post.

If the quoted post has a part of text that was removed as part of an update to the original post, that text does -and should- stay in that quote.

Does that answer the question?

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You realize that quotes are just markdown, right?

Making a system that can detect when you change a quote would take astronomical resources, since quotes are currently just text meant to do something fancy.

And yes, there are legitimate reasons to edit a quote. Read any piece of journalism and you’ll probably come across it in use.


Markdowns are authorless/sourceless. Yet, when you quote someone, you are directly referring to them.

This would be an issue. Now, if you edit the quote, I’m unsure if we can know if you ever said this. The quoting only leads back to the post and topic number but not the edited versions.

Not sure if it is the case right now, but thank you.

Not in this way. Use normal text to make brackets-modified citations but not directly referring to a person’s words. I am particularly talking about when a post is modified. This means, essentially, it would be impossible ever to verify a quote’s content’s legitimacy.

It’s still markdown, just with a bit of added text that defines the author and post. It’s not like quoting someone is witchcraft. There’s not an effective method to do this that isn’t a pain and a total waste of resources.

Also: there are still methods to mischaracterize someone even with your proposed system.

Let’s say you said “I really hate your attitude about this.” All it takes is a bit of not highlighting the full quote and…

If you have have any specific examples of people abusing markdown to make fake quotes where the original post is edited/deleted, and the person, for some reason, cannot defend themselves, and there are zero witnesses to vouch for them, and the situation is believable enough to do any significant damage to their reputation, then you’re welcome to show it. Right now, this seems like a pre-emptive strike against a problem that doesn’t exist and isn’t even really feasible.

I’m not exacty sure where I’m being unreasonably aggressive, and I’m allowed to comment on this topic. Instead of throwing shade at me, you could’ve just responded to me or left it.

You made a feature request for an incredibly difficult-to-implement feature, to try and solve an issue that doesn’t really exist. There’s nothing “simple” about it.

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Since messages can be edited (and edit history is only visible to admins), this feature would worsen the user experience for no reason. Let’s say you quote my reply, I edit my quote and you correct a typo in your post, then it’ll reject/warn even though the quote was originally legitimate.

this is not a simple fix, unless you can describe exactly how to implement this with Discourse?

Plus, if you need to verify if a quote has been tampered with, just press the dropdown icon and you see exactly which part the quote originated from. This is precisely the feature you asked for, no need for any extra validation trouble.


You cannot. I just tried on another topic. You cannot trace a post version that no longer exists. So if you quote a user’s statement but he edited his post, you will only trace back to the edited post and not the original.

Indeed, but with my years on the DevForum, I haven’t found a need for a feature like this, it sounds like a non-issue to me. Quotes are meant for clarity, not validation.

Do you have any strong use cases for this feature?


Not for the moment. The potential issue is theoretically probable but not realistically present. Thanks for your patience, though.

There’s a lot of ways you can misrepresent what other people mean, not just using quotes. I could simply reply to you and use a strawman to misrepresent your original posts without quotes, for example, or any other logical reasoning flaw.

For quotes specifically, you can unfold the quote and see blue highlights where the quote came from. If you don’t see this, you know the quote was edited.

You can refer back to the post the quote came from to get more information.

Overall, I recommend being vigilant about the truthfulness of information you read online and doing your own research. If you see people editing quotes, just kindly ask them to rectify the quote or otherwise flag them after for that abuse if you suspect malicious intent.


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