Go to the post you wish to have removed. Don't edit the post. Click the "report post" button and ask for it to be removed. Then the moderators will see the message and remove the post, or if there has been a lot of replies the post might be edited by the moderator to show "contents removed at request of the poster" and maybe some small explanation so the continuity of the thread for future readers is preserved. But it most cases it would just be deleted.
Later if you want the post back you can PM a moderator who can restore the post. The deletion and/or restoration only take a few seconds using the moderation menu, so done this way it makes management of the system much easier.
Some people might want to remove multiple posts or even all their posts, and again we can do this for you. The advantage of a moderator or admin doing it is that your post can be removed forever or not if you think you might want them restored. If you return later and want to go back to where you were then the moderator can do this with the restoration menu (assuming you didn't ask for permanent deletion). We're willing to be very helpful and work with you to manage the deletions, and we then have the opportunity to have a dialogue with you if there are some posts we'd like to preserve for future readers.
Recovery on posts which are not done via the system menu, e.g. deletion-editing, means I have to do direct modifications or overwrite the backend database. This is very risky, since there is the potential to bring down the entire system, lose other members posts, lose new user accounts, etc. The rule about deletion editing isn't there to stop you from having your posts removed, or recovered, it is there to help in the smooth operation and maintenance of the system.
I would also like to add that all the rules are there to keep things running smoothly. They are a bit like the rules at a gym which tell you to wipe down the equipment after you use it, and put the weights back into the correct rack after you're done. These things mean the other gym members can enjoy their time at the gym without laying down on a sweaty bench or searching around trying to find the 15 kilo weights. It also means the gym doesn't need to have staff members walking about cleaning up.
I try to highlight any changes to the rules and to give people time to read them, but you should read the rules periodically yourself to make sure you didn't miss an update. Ignorantia juris non excusat
So once again to clear up any doubt. To have a post with replies deleted:
- Go to the post you wish to have removed.
- Don't edit the post.
- Click the "report post" button and ask for it to be removed.