Any way to limit posting hours?


Bit of a rogue suggestion here, but is there a way to restrict the time when it’s possible to post on a discourse community?

We’ve had some incidents recently of bad actors picking inopportune times to descend on the forum. Times when there’s fewer folks around to help clean things up.

I know it’s a bit counter to the open-spirit community ethos. But some way of implementing ‘office hours’ for the forum would be helpful.

Feel free to tell me I’m being unreasonable, too.


You could put the site in read only mode when the last moderator leaves the building.

Are these bad actors creating new accounts and posting things? Can you block them and their ip address? You might disable new accounts or tighten restrictions on new users.

Yeah that’s what we’ve done for the time being. Doesn’t feel like a long-term solution since the message is a bit confusing.

Yeah we’ve been blocking folks but they’re extremely fiendish at getting around the blocks, even using VPNs to get around IP bans. We’d hate to have to make it harder to sign up, but it might be our only option.

You can change the text of the message. Customize all text in Discourse.

You could limit to social logins. It’s rather a bother to create new Gmail accounts, I’d imagine.

Or maybe just enable the setting must_approve_users that way, you at least don’t let them in without your permission.

Hi @cookywook

I know the situation you’re up against, so perhaps I’m a bit more privy to this than others on the forum.

Is the main focus of the community support for existing customers, or potential ones too (e.g. Q&A before commitment)? Building on what @pfaffman said, perhaps enforcing a login via your own platform would be an option, so they’d have to be an existing customer?

Yeah this is the ideal solution! But it requires engineering support we simply don’t have.


Another option (which wouldn’t require as much work), would be a timed API call to the forum to trigger read only. Perhaps a small script to send a PUT request to /admin/backups/readonly, setup on a cron job or similar.

Just an idea! But I’m happy to try and help if I can

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If you only care about existing customers then must-approve-users doesn’t seem like it would be that difficult or expensive. I’d imagine that a customer would be OK waiting until the next business day.

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But read only mode also prevents people from logging in, reading and replying to PM’s, the system registering page views, likes, flags, basically… everything.

An API call changing category permissions would work better, but it would be really cool if this was a single checkbox setting.


What about requiring approval on first post for low trust users?

approve post count

The amount of posts from a new or basic user that must be approved

Set that to 1 or 2. Then existing good users should be in a great state. spammers / bad actors should all be TL0 - TL1 so they will have to be approved by staff.