Allow moderators to create groups

Sure then my call here is why do we even need a site setting? Why not just allow moderators to create groups? I wonder if we should strip this magic category setting and just allow mods to create groups and categories?


I would certainly not object to that personally, but I can see sites that don’t want moderators to have the ability to significantly alter the site organization. I’ll leave it up to you to make the decision, I’d be fine either of the 3 ways: new site setting, combine with existing site setting, remove existing site setting and just grant access.

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@codinghorror what is your call here?

  1. New site setting for allow moderators to create groups

  2. Rename allow moderators to create categories to allow moderators to create groups and categories

  3. Remove allow moderators to create categories and just allow them to create categories and groups by default.

I am leaning towards 1 cause it is the least risk.


Hmm, I’d first audit all customers and see how many people have the existing setting in place and turned on. If it’s almost nobody then I favor deleting the setting and changing the default.


Tricky thing though is that removal of the setting would increase the rights of all discourse mods.

The only increased surface area though is that a rogue moderator can create lots of groups and categories. There is no permission escalation, they will still be able to be excluded from certain groups and categories (and also exclude themselves)


I’ll pull the numbers later today.

I’m not following your logic here. If nobody has enabled the setting, we can infer that they don’t care and are OK with mods having category creation rights, but we could also very well infer that they intentionally left the setting disabled and as they don’t want mods having category creation rights.


And here are the numbers @codinghorror. Out of all our hosted sites, 90.03% kept the setting false, as is the default. 9.97% enabled the setting allowing mods to create categories.


Wondering about the result of this conversation from awhile ago. Can moderators create groups?

Alternatively, is it possible to have users of a certain trust level create groups?

On my site, it looks like the answer to both questions is no, but I want to confirm as it would be helpful to have this ability…

Do you really mean groups (collections of users) and not categories (collections of topics)? It might help to describe your problem rather than this solution.

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Yes I mean groups. Just looking to figure out the current ability to allow users (be it moderators, certain trust level, or other) to create groups.

I think you’d need a plugin.

It’s still not clear what your intent is, whoever. What are people going to do with the groups? Send group direct messages? Get flair?


Just looking to confirm whether or not users can create groups. That’s all at this stage. Sounds like the answer is no out of the box.

I say we rename:

No new site setting, rename the old one, increase scope, and the option makes more sense.

It is very oddball to want to give moderators the right to create a category but not give them the right to create a group.

Shall I slot this for next release @codinghorror


Is it possible for users with a specific trust level to create a group? Then other users who have any trust level can request to join that group or be invited by the creator. The creator by default, becomes the owner of that group.

The idea behind is how gaming clans / guilds / teams are done. Maybe this can be a external plugin, but there are several forums that have this feature as an extension. It’s also analogous to facebook groups that people can join if they are fans of something.


I’ve made pretty good progress on this new feature and I think it’s getting close to being ready. A weird little edge case has been identified by @jomaxro, however…

Moderators can change the Visibility of a group to ‘Group Owners’, which means as soon as they update the group they will no longer be able to see that group and therefore can no longer manage that group. If they start clicking around within the group settings once they’ve updated, they’ll get errors which results in some inelegant UX.

Thoughts on how to handle this? Should the backend realize they’ve just updated into a state that means they don’t have access, and force the front end back to the groups index? Should we not let them update to a state where they don’t have access?


Thinking of other examples of access changes.

If a moderator changes category settings such that they can no longer see the category, they end up on the 404 page. Not ideal, but no errors.

If a user is logged out (by an admin, via console, etc.), they see a modal, and are redirected to the homepage.

I think the simplest option here is a redirect to the groups index. Fancier option is a modal explaining they can no longer see the group, with a button to redirect to the groups index.

While we’re doing refactoring, we may want to improve the current situation when a moderator changes category permissions and loses visibility. A forced redirect to /c is nicer than a 404 page. We could also add a modal first, if we want to be fancy.

Interested in Robin and Sam’s opinions.


I think it’s a pretty silly operation for those people to perform and it’s not unreasonable for us to not support it well. I think Josh’s suggestion of a redirect to the index is good.


It would be nice if this can be extended to not just moderators but users with specific trust levels. This would allow for users to create their own groups / teams / clans. This is common in many gaming forums. The team captain can invite other members to join their group or members can request to join. Teams could have their own topic thread that only they can see and reply. The team leader picks the team name and can attach a banner or logo for their team.


A specific Trust Level or group membership sounds great for adding ability to create groups. I suppose Trust Level would be fine since it can be assigned to a group (though I believe all members as opposed to just owners).

This was merged in recently, but I think we’ve neglected to mention it. Sorry about that!

It’s super simple to use: Enable the moderators_manage_categories_and_groups setting to let moderators create and/or manage groups on the site.