Ability for users to act as moderators on their own topic

One thing that has been a constant hindrance in our community is the lack of control a user has over their own topics as compared to other forum architecture. Staff may not always be present, and sometimes the ability for an user to exert a certain amount of moderation over their own content makes sense. As such, I think it would be incredibly useful if Discourse added a toggle that instances of Discourse can enable to allow users to moderate their own content.

Particular features I think would be most useful include:

  • The ability to lock your own topics
  • The ability to post on your own locked topics, provided you were the one who locked it
  • The ability to unlock your own topics, provided you were the one who locked it
  • The ability to remove users from PM chains you started
  • The ability to forcibly add or remove posts from your own topic summary
  • The ability to share these self-moderation capabilities on a given topic/PM chain with other users

If you wish to debate the merits of any of these particular ideas, or suggest your own, feel free.

While this should obviously not be the default, and could potentially be restricted to users of TL1 or TL2 and higher, I feel that allowing these features to be toggled on could help reduce the amount of busywork staff have to do to maintain a running forum, allow users to take more control of their content, and generally be helpful for day-to-day usage of Discourse.


Discourse has recently gained per-category moderators, if that means more people are able to assist in any one category would it help the problem any?


Somewhat but not entirely, as making every user a per-category moderator is a dangerous proposition.


Sure, but that’s not what I’m proposing. Your request is in response to other problems in your community, this approach is to address one of the symptoms of said problem.

Previously this kind of thing could only be done by staff: admins and moderators. If every category has a number of regular users that can now also be given the tools to do this stuff in lieu of staff, it increases the number of people who can help manage topics without the inmates taking over the asylum.

It’s important to recognise that once a user posts on a forum their ownership of published topics and replies isn’t absolute. It’s why users can’t delete a topic they created once it has a response, and why many communities will anonymise a user over deleting them.


It is not.

It is in response to a legitimate need that has been felt for years (well before the problems you speak of began) and the fact that other forums also do this.

While “others do it” isn’t always a reason to include a feature, a feature that is generally useful in day-to-day operation of a forum and has few drawbacks when included as a toggleable option is one that is going to be pretty obvious when it’s gone.

Additionally, none of this facilitates deletion, nor gives “the inmates” any power over more than their own posts.

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I don’t think you’ve made a remotely compelling case with the above. Legitimate needs are typically based on evidence rather than opinion.

The ability to suppress responses and remove users are features found on social media such as Facebook. They’re not really in-line with facilitating open discourse.


Suggestions based on experience are given here.

The devs have the stats and evidence. How could I?

If everybody needed to prove every want has some sort of statistical basis, we’d never seek improvement.

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Can’t you technically flag it so a moderator can close it?

Locking is usually for stopping irrelevant, heated discussions, so what’s your reason for closing it?

That’s already allowed in discourse


Self-locking is incredibly useful for forum games in particular.

Is it? I’m unable to, on the sites I’ve tested on.

Oh sorry, it was a staff ability. :slightly_frowning_face:


Exactly my point, in a way.

Any examples in the past?

Plenty, they happen really often - do you want a link to a specific case or an explanation of how it’s useful in general?

Both please. :slightly_smiling_face:

Wow okay

The most common scenario in which this is useful is any game with a period during which players are not supposed to post. On any other forum architecture, the self-locking ability would normally be used to accomplish this. However, on Discourse, you may either get a mod to lock your topic (which can take time, prevent you from posting [adding that to OP], and can result in you trying to get your topic un-locked but being unable to find a member of the staff that is online, trapping you), or risk players posting and ruining the integrity of a game that may have taken weeks or even months to plan. Both are scary propositions, so for this particular purpose self-locking would be extremely welcome.

Here’s a few examples I could find quickly:

Rule 7 of this post from ChiefDelphi explicitly calls attention to this fact:

Unfortunately, it still ended up happening:


While neither of these were game-ruining posts, I have seen some before that have absolutely been just that (been a few years and honestly can’t find them now).

If you want another example I can dig more when I get off work.

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The easiest way is to send the draft to a mod and let them handle it for you.

I personally have suffered from being unable to unlock my game after getting it locked, delaying things for hours while I frantically DMed every staff member on Discord.

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The staff on your community need to learn to schedule topics to automatically reopen then.

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That has been done, but being able to unlock your own thread is an objectively better method of handling this.