Splitting a thread

For whatever reason, moderators might have to split a thread to remove any content deemed necessary! This is usually reserved for unnecessarily negative and/or unproductive posts, but treat each instance on a case by case basis. Below are the steps involved in the splitting process.

Step One

Moving the thread into holding! To do so, there is a button located at the bottom of the page called “Move Topic”. It'll look like this: (The below thread is being used for instructional purposes only. No harm has came to it!)

You'll then be taken to a new screen that looks like the below! I'll explain some of the options on this page.

  • Move To” is where you'll be moving the thread to. In the case of splitting, you want to move the thread into “Holding” which is at the very bottom of the list.
  • Redirect” is ticked automatically, but in most cases you can untick it. The likely only reason this box will remain ticked is if you need to create a new thread that states something along the lines of “This thread has been moved pending further moderation”. You only need to do that if you think people need to be informed about the fact that thread has been moved.
  • Change the topic's subject” is rather self explanatory, but usually you don't have to interact with this either.
  • In summary: untick “Redirect” and make sure that you have “Holding” selected for the Move to dropbox, then all you have to press is “Move Topic”!

Step Two

Once you have moved the thread that needs splitting into holding you should head to that section of the forum! The holding board isn't viewable for anyone except moderators and admin, so it's a lot easier to make any necessary edits/splits here! I've created an example thread for usage in this tutorial. Remember: We are editing the moved holding thread.

A lot of the time, not every part of a message needs removal. Sometimes all you have to do is edit a section out of a post that you deem necessary, as well as any additional edits to other posts replying to the edited out section so as to avoid confusion. Here is how to do that.

  • Click “Modify” at the top of the post you want to edit it. I've added an image above to show you where it is!
  • Once you've been taken to the usual post screen, you want to copy and paste the section that you are editing out onto notepad or something similar. Keep this somewhere safe (just not within the thread) for now because we'll be using it later!
  • Remove the content that you need to edit and leave a Mod Note by typing something along the lines of: [mod]Post was removed due to inflammatory content. Furthermore, posts interacting with the edited section of this post have been removed to avoid confusion.[/mod]

Good job! We've successfully left a mod not to explain our actions! Transparency is important, so don't forget to leave your reasoning behind on the edited post!

Step Three

After editing the offending post(s) it's likely that we'll have to create a split. What this means is the removal of content that is directly replying/engaging with the post that we edited. At the top of the message(s) within a thread that you want to split there will be a button that says “Split Topic”.

The “Split Topic” button is above every post within a thread. From here, you can choose to remove any number of messages. You might only need to remove one, or if there are several replies to the message you'd like to split, then it'll likely make more sense to remove those too so as to minimise confusion.

This is the screen you'll see upon clicking “Split Topic”. The options are pretty self explanatory. You can choose to split only the message you clicked “Split Topic” on, split the message you clicked “Split Topic” on and all of the posts following it, or you can select individual and separate posts manually by clicking the “Select posts to split” option.
The above image is the screen you'll see when you click the last option: “Select posts to split”. As you can see, the posts go from most recent to oldest, and there is a message we need to split! We can edit the first message that says “[insert problematic mean comment here]”, and we would only split the message that says “Mean reply!”.

Click the arrow next to the message(s) that you'd like to split (you can select multiple!) and they'll move to the section titled Selected posts. Once all your messages have been moved over, you can click Split Topic again (bottom left)!

Now, as you can see above, there are two versions of the thread within holding. Do you remember the text that we had to copy and paste somewhere? Well, you can go ahead and grab it now! Within the new thread (in the above image that is called “Re: Splitting Example Thread :D”) you'll paste the unedited version of the message(s) that you had to edit, being sure to note who said what. For example:

  • Unedited versions of the edited posts are as follows: “[insert problematic mean comment here]” Posted by Awhe

And with that… We're almost done! That's all of the heavy lifting out of the way anyway!

Step Four

Now that all of our edits and splits have been completed you can go into the original thread within holding, double checking that your mod note(s) are in proper order and that you've removed all of the offending content. When everything is good, you can go ahead and click “Move Topic” again to put the thread back in its original place!


  • Move the topic into holding.
  • Copy and paste the message(s) that you're editing.
  • Edit the holding thread message(s) deemed necessary and leave a mod note explaining your actions.
  • Split the replies that are directly engaging with the edited out section(s). This will automatically create a new thread in holding.
  • Copy and paste the message(s) that you edited and add it to the new holding thread, not the original. Be sure to note who said what!
  • Move the now edited and split topic back to its original place for the public to see again.

Some things to note:

  • If you accidentally split the message that you're supposed to edit, all you have to do is split the message you want to be back in the original thread and then click “Merge Topics” which is located in the same area as “Move Topics”. There'll be a list that pops up but because we're in holding then the thread in which you want to merge will typically be second from the top. Just re-add the posts you want to remain in the original thread from there.

Congratulations! We did it! If you're having any trouble, don't understand a part of this tutorial, or are second guessing your decisions, then please feel free to message me here!