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Bulk delete the approval queue

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I have to say that I find it a bit absurd that there isn't a standardised interface.

On some lists of posts you have checkboxes which allow you to do things. Another lists you don't have checkboxes. On the approval queue, you don't even have a list. It is simply each message one at a time – 17,000 times.

Surely it has to be reasonable to ask for a standardised interface and a large have lists so that one can then choose one and then have a look at it, or else simply deal with the whole list – all to filter them by date or something.

With the approval list, none of this is possible and there doesn't seem to be any rationale for it

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I think that the Mod CP use case is the individual review of one message at a time. The scenario you're describing only occurs if you have 17,000 new posts happen within a short period of time, in which case, the typical solution would be "more moderators, still reviewing one at a time." I suppose a list of multiple messages with checkboxes to select the ones you'd want to approve (vBulletin had this, as an example) would be a nice addition, but I rather like the focus of a single post in this particular use case.

Since this is a byproduct of your conversion, you'll likely want to deal with these en masse. There's no way to do this efficiently within the interface, however you can update the underlying database to mark whatever action should be taken on these 17,000 legacy posts.

The query you'd use would depend on what you want to have happen to these posts. Maybe you want them all approved. Maybe you want them all hidden.

I agree that better use of checkboxes and mass-moderator actions is a much needed improvement, yet for the issue you're experiencing, updating the database directly now is probably your best bet.

Here's a thread where we talked a bit about this, and the different things to consider. 


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Either way, I think your choices are between handling them via SQL or one by one using the moderation tools in the web interface.

If you choose to delete them outright, and do so via the database, be mindful of thread metadata that may need to be updated as well and actual threads comprised of only "hidden" posts. You'll also probably want to rebuild the search index.

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Thanks for this. I don't understand enough about it to do it safely.

I'd rather they were presented in the mod CP in a way which would allow me to bulk delete.

Once again, as with many things we have found on this platform, I would like choice so that I can have the data presented in the way that suits me – and other people can have it presented in the way that it suits them.
Also, a standardised interface seems to me to be very sensible – and I don't understand why it is such a mishmash. I wonder whether it hasn't been put together by different programmers – without any oversight or house style

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You CAN bulk delete these items. It will take a bit but it shouldn't require messing about in SQL.

On your forum index pace @BankFodder

Click on the Pending link for the forum:


(The number 1 there as that's for topics).

This will filter all pending approval topics in the forum.

Doing it for replies will be more difficult but at least this will help you get rid of pending topics.

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Another crazy thing about the lack of bulk delete or lack of ability to list them all to sort on various fields.

We have a backlog of 17,000 posts on the approval queue going back to 2009. We are completely unable to reach any current ones – 2020 because there is absolutely nothing which allows us to sort on the most recent or the earliest or anything else.

This means that if we have got more posts stacking up in the approval queue, we are unable to look at them or to know what is going on.

This has to be wrong surely.

This has to be an Invision oversight. It scarcely believable that one could have an approval queue and that if one lets it go for a few days, one has to begin at the back of the queue and work through them all rather than to attend to ones which may be are more pressing or more recent.

In a particular case, it means we have to work through over 17,000 posts – one by one – until we see what is going on in our most recent posts this week.

I've seen all the very kind advice about going into the SQL database et cetera et cetera et cetera – but I'm sure that this was never intended by Invision – and once again I think it is an oversight



Edited by BankFodder
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Thanks for this. Nice idea – but even more difficult because now there are no checkboxes and although there is a list, you have to open each one go to it in its place in the thread and then choose to delete it.

I'm afraid that although it means we can have a look at the most recent posts – which is a good thing – the problems of getting rid of the backlog are even more difficult.

Also, once again – another interface. This time we have an interface where we have a list and we have a pretty well useless icon on the right which if you hover over simply produces hover text "post". The list is headed by the number of pages and you can go to any particular page you want – but of course you have no idea where you're going and to try and run down posts from a particular date is very hit and miss you've gradually got to work towards it by guessing roughly around which page that date might be.

What we need is a standardised interface with checkboxes on the right, able to be filtered according to each column depending on the need of the site team member who is dealing with the problem.

I have no idea what is wrong with asking for a standardised interface and a bulk delete function.

I suppose somebody's gonna come along and tell me that it's considered of no use or that it doesn't allow people to focus on content, or something other.

Somebody at Invision has designed one particular interface – why not stick with it?

It almost seems to me as if some aspects of the Invision platform have been designed by a committee where everybody has had their say and it has been decided to accommodate everybody so in order not to offend any particular individual.

The result is – four members of the committee = four different interfaces.



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3 minutes ago, BankFodder said:

What we need is a standardised interface with checkboxes on the right, able to be filtered according to each column depending on the need of the site team member who is dealing with the problem.

I have no idea what is wrong with asking for a standardised interface and a bulk delete function.

Agreed. You should be able to select and take action via mod tool bar on items where ever you can see items, including search.

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As I shared prior, we caught this issue in our vB conversion and handled it by altering the conversion script. Our approach to the migration was to stand up an environment to quickly run through the conversion over and over again, test it, identify issues, and implement fixes. We had many, many more hidden items than what you're dealing with.

Were I in your position now finding this after the fact, I'd make a copy of my production environment and work to develop a SQL-based solution to fix it that I'd test in a test environment and validate before running on production. I might even open a ticket to ask to make sure that my logic was sound and wasn't missing anything, with the understanding that this was an unsupported thing I was about to do.

I think whatever time commitment it would take to do that has to be less than the time it would take to manually address 17k worth of posts. So, good time to brush up the SQL skills. 🙂

From my understanding, you'd be dealing with posts, with threads that contain hidden posts, and possibly with search results. I'd search for "queued" in the source code and go from there. Don't forget blog comments if you had those too.

Posts are the easiest. Threads you need to consider whether or not to hide the thread based on first post being hidden, updating the thread_queuedposts/thread_hiddenposts/thread_lastrealpost columns with accurate info, and maybe some other fields in there--not sure without digging into it myself and I'm about to walk into a meeting.

Search, I have no idea off the top of my head, but... maybe a rebuild of search index fixes everything. 🙂

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Thanks very much for taking the time to reply in such a detailed way. It's very much appreciated and I hope you won't think that I have wasted your time too much but I won't be able to implement the suggestions you have given because we don't have the time, or the resources and I don't have the knowledge.

I suppose that we will simply have to live with all of this useless data sitting there. At least we can now check the more recent hidden posts and that is helpful – and thank you for that.

It would be really appreciated it would be if Invision would contribute to this thread and take on board suggestions – particularly about a single unified interface – and implement that in a forthcoming revision.

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So here's a search result page:



Simply a list which doesn't allow any actions to be carried out upon it such as delete, move, hide, grouped together in a particular sub- forum – nothing.

To do anything on has to go to each particular post in turn and act on it and then back to the search page.

Almost useless

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  • 1 month later...
  • Solution


Well I have finally managed to vacate the approval queue of all 17,000+ posts.

Nothing sophisticated – nothing elegant – I simply downloaded a little macro and set it to work for nearly a full day clicking and deleting clicking and deleting clicking and deleting and eventually we have managed to get rid of all of those posts from our vBulletin days going back to 2006.

I have to say that using such a brutish method of dealing with this problem is quite extraordinary.

Once again I need to make the point that the lack of consistency in interfaces depending on what screen of data you are looking at is quite extraordinary and I would thought that it would be helpful for Invision themselves and also their clients to be able to have a standard interface. It seems to me to be axiomatic that when one is looking at any collection of data that there should at least be a sorting function, a bulk action function which includes bulk delete or selective delete with the ability to enter various criteria for deletion including posts by a particular user, by a particular date, containing particular keywords – et cetera.

The variety of interfaces suggests to me that this part of the Invision platform was designed by committee – and not one committee, but several committees who by and large don't talk to each other very much.

And now to turn to this post by @Morrigan

On 10/15/2020 at 2:54 AM, Morrigan said:

@BankFodder This isn't in the suggestions forum which is the place that Invision looks for feedback and suggestions.


I notice that in June you actually started a topic in the forum which you think is appropriate for putting feedback and suggestions and which apparently Invision pay attention to when considering future developments – and you broadly suggested what I am referring to above in this thread.

However, it seems that your comments have had no effect at all.

It seems that the feedback and suggestions forum is not all that it's cracked up to be. But thanks for your suggestion anyway

In the meantime, I recommend that if people have this kind of problem, that they fall back on a little macro – we got ours from sourceForge. Very rudimentary – but it works very well

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