Add moderator for specific category or subcategory

Can’t you just say “Bob, you have the rights to moderate any category, but you are only in charge of this category, don’t touch the others, OK? Thanks” ?


Here’s an approach how to solve it with existing Discourse functionality.

We had a similar usecase for a “moderator per category” feature, and solved it by splitting the forum into multiple Discourse platforms with a common login. And then you can assign different people to be moderators in each of the forums. It’s quite similar to how the different parts of the Stack Exchange Network are linked together – with a common login and a site switch menu in the top right.

That’s quite straight-forward to do as Discourse comes with integrated single-sign-on (SSO) provider and client code, so you can dedicate one Discourse platform for signup, the others as federated forums, and have a dropdown menu in all that allows to switch between them. Managing the codebase is also quite straight-forward as Discourse comes with the option of doing a multisite installation (one codebase serves multiple domains and databases) and, best of all, a multisite Discourse installation does not eat more server memory than a single-site installation as the server processes are shared. Very much unlike multiple single-site installations in parallel.

The manual I linked above describes how to set this up and has a link to our codebase as well. Expect it to take some time to get this done, but then it works quite smoothly, including the login flow (not perfect yet, but smooth). We have it in live use on since a few months. (It’s ok if you register there just to test out how the login and site switch process works.)

Beyond “moderators for specific categories”, the approach above has some other benefits that we needed:

  • configuration settings (frontpage look and feel, badge system, anti-spam measures) can be adapted in each of the federated forums separately

  • forum operators get their own domain, own design and own admin status, which is important for a sense of ownership and a proper “community feeling” in their respective online community

  • plugins can be enabled on the different federated forums independently (even though they will be installed on all of them due to the multisite’s shared codebase, they don’t have to be enabled on every site)


The team have said category specific moderators are in the pipeline. But I don’t know when they expect to have it finished.

It shouldn’t be too far off now, @eviltrout did a month+ of work on aggregating / centralizing all approvals + flags and this opens the door to category level moderation.


If all goes well I’d like to start work on it shortly. We’re just fixing regressions and quickly integrating feedback on the new queue first.


There was one of our forum users that said it was out now, but couldn’t find a doc: Is this true that it’s out already?

Here ya go: Category Group Review/Moderation


It appears this feature only allows those in the group to review flagged posts. Is there any plan to add the other moderator abilities such as Edit Posts, Lock Topics, Pin Topics, etc? Our system has categories that are public and private. We need to allow these category moderators in the private categories but not the public categories. Elevating them to TL4 gives them permissions in the public categories that we do not want them to have.


And what “permissions” are those that you object to?

Everything that TL4 has that TL2 does not have. We have only a small number of users who are allowed to have the TL4 permissions in our public forums but we have about 2000 private forums, that each have their own users who are supposed to be moderators.

You deployed Discourse with two thousand subcategories on the hope that per-category moderation would one day be developed, and function is a very specific way? :open_mouth:

Actually it was deployed without expectation of category moderation but when we saw it was available we were hoping it would work.

The system is used by the Boy Scouts of America. There are public categories but each Pack or Troop can have their own private category for communication among their Scouts. We want the Pack or Troop leaders to have the ability to be moderators in their own categories but NOT have TL4 access to the public categories.

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Ok, I guess I misread

What you mean is that each has users who you would like to be able to moderate?

Yes. The pack and troop leaders should be able to moderate their own categories. This was a long time request before the forums were switched to Discourse. We would like the category moderators to have the same capabilities in their categories that a system moderator has in the public categories.

Sorry if I got this wrong, but moderators an’t moderate specific groups or topics? They only moderate for the whole web app? So moderators are like mini-admins ?

Correct. A moderator has access to moderate ALL categories and topics.


thanks! If you’re a moderator and in group 1. and Group 1 can only view category 1
Does this mean you, as a moderator and also in group 1, can only moderate the posts in category 1 only?

There is now a way to create category specific moderators which might meet your needs:


This is now available