Deleting News or Events from Mercury

Drupal Version

Occasionally, you may discover that an article that you or a colleague posted to your Mercury group needs to come down for some reason.  Your first instinct might be to just delete that article, but deletion may not be the best option in many cases.

While some websites that connect with Mercury may do a full synchronization with Mercury on a periodic basis, some websites may only do a one-way synchronization.  One-way basically means that the website grabs any new and updated articles, but pays no attention to articles that no longer exist.  Usually, such sites will stop mentioning deleted articles in any listings of news or events, but the article's full page may remain, meaning that anyone who has saved a link to that page could still access the article.  Worse, search engines might retain that link and continue to direct people to that page.

The better way to handle removing article content that needs to come down quickly is to simply edit the article and delete only the content.  Anything in the Summary and Body fields can be deleted, and any attached media can be unattached from the article.  Finally, the title could be changed to something like "Retracted Article" and an apology message added to the Body field.  Save your changes and they will overwrite any website copies of the original article the next time that any connected website synchronizes with Mercury.  After you are sure all connected websites have updated with your "Retracted Article", you could then delete the article completely from Mercury.

Bear in mind, that most sites only synchronize once every two hours, give or take, so your changes will not appear on your website immediately.  If you have admin rights on your unit's website and it is running the standard Mercury Reader, you can try to force updates immediately.  Otherwise, you'll just have to wait until the next scheduled synchronization.