I think it should be possible delete old private messages without waiting so long, that is, I have old private conversations and I would like to be able to delete messages (marking them with the trash icon) without wait 13, 19 hours etc.
This is a design decision in the Discourse forum software, so it’ll apply to all Discourse-based forums.
For replies in PMs, you should be able to delete those whenever you choose, with no time limit.
For the first message sent, you can only delete the message within the normal edit time period (a week to several months, depending on trust level) and only if no user(s) have replied.
If you’re trying to delete messages en masse, there is some throttling (ie. only so many deletes per day) which you might be encountering that would cause the delay you mentioned.
The expected method is to mute the message topic and then archive. Depending on the situation, you also might be able to remove yourself from the PM topic. The reason the delete option is so restrictive is that deleting a PM would delete it for the other user(s) as well. However, deletion of the topic is possible by flagging the message and the request will be reviewed by the moderation team.
Reading all of this, you mean the good way to delete them is flagging them, right?
If you really need them deleted, yep. Alternatively, if there was too many for flagging or it’s a more complex situation, one could contact me directly and I could do some other lower level database options.