You can now delete issues on GitHub (different from closing them)

ben profile image Ben Halpern ・1 min read

This tweet from GitHub:


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That could be interesting. But I can already imagine potential abuse by certain projects which are known for their reluctance to fix security problems.


Seems unnecessary and potentially harmful in the context of keeping a record of the project. Sometimes it's better when people don't get everything they think they want out of a tool.


This certainly has it's pros & it's cons. But in my case, this is definitely needed. I have an app that allows users to create GitHub issues without even needing an account. And this feature has been abused. Now I will be able to delete the spam.

Another pro, stems from GitHub's new "ProBot" apps. Some of these apps create issues automatically. This can however automatically create a bunch of issues that should not of been made in the first place due to a bug.

Despite the above, I personally feel this was a bad move. But I have an idea for something in the middle. You should only be able to delete your own issues


Ok spam is annoying, but what difference do you see between a closed and a deleted issue ?
As the default filter is on open issues, I don't see both anyway.


What this feature aims to solve:

  • Improperly reported security issues
  • Spam issues which are unrelated to the project
  • Duplicate issues
  • Abusive issues where the discussion goes into personal attack territory

Regarding security issues, I do not think this feature will be effective. There are bots which make use of Github API to look for credentials of AWS/Azure/Google Cloud, etc. People will simply create bots for scraping issues and saving them to archive.is or similar sites. Since the issue deletion involves manual intervention, the delete action will merely remove it from the project page and not necessarily from public record.

Spam and duplicate issues can already be closed. I am not sure if deleting them solves any problems.

It can be useful for the last category of issues but there is already an option for locking issues and moderating abusive comments.

And like any tool, there is always potential for misuse e.g delete genuine bugs without justification.

We will have to wait and watch how the community uses this feature.


That's awesome! There is was really dumb issues.


Could you show an example of what you would call a "dumb issue" ?


Bad because there are important issues that will be deleted for pure use of power by the maintainer(s)

Good cuz it will avoid a lot of spam


Bad because there are important issues that will be deleted for pure use of power by the maintainer(s)

That kind of abuse tends to be a self-limiting problem. Projects that are abusive tend to lose users and contributors — either by complete abandonment or forking.


So that's what you have been doing with my issues :p