I think the tag feature in discourse, is awesome, however, there is a type of situation when it is not the best solution, and we need something that empowers the “bottom user” without giving him the ability to disrupt the overall structure of the forum. This is where hashtags would be useful.
I want to empower the regular user to group and create groups of posts by himself, without permission, without giving him chance to disrupt the subject structure, which is given by the category/tags structure (the ability to select categories/tags is already enough power given to them).
For instance I run a forum about news, commenting, reporting, and that stuff. In this case, tagging is very useful for grouping articles into subjects. For instance news about the current china-usa trade war I tag them as “trade-war” or “us-vs-china”. However if I give users the freedom to make their own tag, someone could come, post an article about the trade war and tag it as “fake-news”. Now, this is too arbitrary, and leaves room for lots of arguments (and I think forums where mods and users are constantly battling about categories or tags is apropriate for which post give off poor vibe). This makes us conclude that tagging posts in a forum like mine is basically an editorial decision, a.k.a. something I would not want to leave up to the user.
However, I still want users to have some power, in this case to be able to group posts by themselves, without permission of the mod-admins. This is where hashtags are useful. For instance let’s say the user above mentioned wants to post his article, but now he can’t choose “fake-news” as tag, because he can’t create tags, and his desired one doesn’t exist. He can still use the hashtag #fake-news in the body of the post, and thus grouping the post with other posts where that hashtag is present. Or say this overly skeptical user can come to a thread posted by another user, and post the hashtag ·#fake-news or whatever arbitrary hashtag he likes.
As you can see, I hope, is that hashtag are somehow the right amount of democracy inside the forum. It reasonably empowers the user within reasonable limits. And says psychology an empowered user is a motivated user. And a motivated user is a loyal user, etc etc.
Please consider this request.