Allowing non-admin users to create groups & categories?

(Nate Finch) #1

Is there a way to give rights to trusted users that will allow them to create new categories and groups? Ideally, I’d like to allow someone who is trusted in the community to set up a private category based on a group he creates. So the Western New England Hobby Train Club (for example) can set up their own little private area to discuss stuff that’s private to their club… without having to ask an admin to do it for them (and to ask an admin every time they get a new member).

The idea is that I want to draw groups that would otherwise spend a lot of time on their own private forum onto my forum… so even if they still have a lot of private conversations, they’ll at least be on the same site as everyone else, which will naturally lead them to more public conversations than they’d have if they’re off in some PHPBB site.

Is that possible currently? Is it on the roadmap? Is it totally against what discourse stands for? :slight_smile:

Are groups similar to subreddits?
(Sander Datema) #2

Sounds a bit like what BBpress and BuddyPress are for Wordpress. I think this is plugin material, not core stuff.

(Jason May) #3

Reviving this old feature request. I think that it was never implemented - it appears that only admins can create new groups or categories. Could there be a setting that would allow moderators to do this as well?

(Per Hansen) #4

This is something I need as well. Exactly for the “local group” scenario @natefinch describes.

(Clay Heaton) #5

Now that there is a setting to allow moderators to create categories, I would love to see a setting to allow moderators to create groups, for exactly the reason that @natefinch describes. We use Discourse in a trusted internal enterprise environment, and until we can give non-admins (department heads, etc.) the ability to create and controls groups and categories for their departments, we’re going to have a very hard time making an argument for widespread use of the tool. The burden of managing groups and categories will fall on whomever has admin rights. Our IT department doesn’t want to bear the burden of taking on that responsibility and it’s a little strange for many groups to make requests to a non-IT department for group creation.

To date, we’ve kept an admin account that we log into for group/category creation, but since the ability impersonate other users and view their PMs comes with admin rights, we’re not comfortable with allowing others to have admin privileges.

Delegating additional trust to moderators or other groups
(Pad Pors) #6

The group feature has grown a lot, and the best use-case of a group is to have category-restricted access to the groups.

It may be a good idea to reduce the restrictions and let group owners create their own category (or subcategory). Something like an option when creating a group:


such setting can also be an option in the category-page setting, admins create a category where group owners can create subcategories for:

(Tom Newsom) #7

This would make Discourse Group work much more like a Facebook Group, which is what many people will be familiar with. Sounds like an excellent idea.

(Jeff Atwood) #8

I suggest tags are more appropriate for this.

(Pad Pors) #9

tags would be good if topics with specific tags can be hidden from some group users. otherwise how can they help groups?

(Pad Pors) #10

tags seems to be be more scale-able. how about this flow?

  1. for each group there’s an option were admins of the group can/can’t define a tag for topics of the group:


  1. then the admin of a group can define a tag for the group:

  1. and as a tag is associated to a group, it becomes mute for everyone rather than the group members by default. so that a small group discussion can be formed in a larger community, without much interrupt from other members.

Also only those topics with the related tag are shown as the group activity.

at the moment all the steps are possible for the admin of a forum, I’m just looking for a way to make less restrictions for group owners who are trusted in the forum (high ranked users) but may not have admin access.

(Sam Saffron) #11

Why not just make the your group owners tl4, you are already implying you trust them a lot more. Then allow tl4 to create tags.

(Pad Pors) #12

tl4 can be used for showing even more trust! in the scenario, each group owner is only allowed to create one tag.

(Dave McClure) #13

I’m under the impression that groups still cannot be created by moderators.

Are you still doing this or have you come up with another solution?

More context from our side:

We’ve been working on designing some guidelines for group creation because we want to start with some constraints. For example, we won’t be allowing private group messages or private categories. The main purpose groups will have is to allow folks to mentions different teams easily in public topics, and make it easier to discover who’s on what team, what their activity looks like, and where that group has been mentioned.

Coincidentally, at the same time, there has been renewed discussion about the fact that admins can read PMs with limited friction. We’re happy that this can now be audited, but would prefer it to be more difficult, and so we are discussing being more strict about who has admin accounts vs. who has moderator accounts as one part of the solution.

I know there’s also been discussion elsewhere about having a more explicit “admin mode” that admin accounts have to switch into with an audit trail, but I can’t find a topic for it now. Does anyone know if there’s a feature topic discussing that specifically?


I also too now just realized discourse groups are not what I thought they were. Seems like it was built with managing in mind but I thought it would be any user can create their own group like “Cooking fanatics” or “Knitting and Quilting” etc.

Im not sure what we can do or what direction the discourse team wants or is willing to go, would be nice to know

(Adrianbblk) #15

I’m also interested of allowing users to create groups. Otherwise I can’t see what are they for? To work just like an user organizer for admins?


They are primarily for setting security/privacy. You can set category permissions at a group level.

(Adrianbblk) #17

I see. But if users would be able to create groups, it affects somehow the security?


No, not necessarily.

(Adrianbblk) #19

Is there a way to allow users to create groups?


No, at the moment there is not. Users can join or leave public groups but they cannot create them.