Any Discourse features that could help us avoid users posting in other categories if they don't have access to the correct one?

Our forum is set up like so:

  • TL0 cannot post at all
  • New members are added as TL1
  • Promoted to TL2 once they’ve demonstrated they’re constructive enough
  • TL2 can post to Feature Requests / Bug Reports freely
  • TL1 do not have the ability to create new topics in Feature Requests / Bug Reports
    • They create a draft in a muted-by-default category, PM a group of TL4 users to review, and eventually it gets moved to the appropriate category
    • There are some categories TL1 can post in without approval (e.g. support-like categories)

Unfortunately, we’ve had a lot of cases where users will circumvent category restrictions and post feature requests/bug reports in support categories. It doesn’t seem like they’re intentionally circumventing posting restrictions, because once we tell them how to get threads approved they never make the same mistake again. I’m guessing they think it’s a bug that they can’t post in those categories, even though we mention this in our rules, category descriptions for bug reports / feature requests, and the invite email.

Discourse supports approving posts up to a certain trust level, but AFAIK this can’t be configured per-category (we only require approval for bug reports and feature requests). I don’t think we have the ability to enable the New Topic button but provide a message like “You can’t post here. Please follow these steps.” We used to have the category opened to everyone with a template that said something along the lines of that, but basic users ignored it and we still had that problem.

We’re looking for a way to prevent them from ever posting topics in Feature Requests / Bug Reports, but giving them feedback on why they can’t post there so they don’t think the category being locked, or the category not showing up in a draft in Latest, is a bug. Are there any Discourse features that could help us out here?

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This has come up a fair few times, might be good to have a pattern here.

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It’s been a while. Is this still an ongoing issue @Drew_Warwick or did you figure out a viable way forward?

Yes. We ended up scaling the community to be several times larger, so it has become rather exhaustively manual to moderate them.


Perhaps @simon might have some advice here?

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