Author-only Topic (take 2)

Folks in our community are also asking for something like this very old (and closed) feature request for author-only topics.

Specifically, this is in the context of our community “package announcements” category, where we have many authors who post announcements and updates regarding their topics. Folks have realized that these topics can make for lightweight “release newsletters” if they watch the topic (with email!) for replies. But — even if highly moderated — that can get noisy fast.

:point_up: This would be a great behavior in this context!

The original ask was closed, citing:

This doesn’t work for us because there isn’t a clear group. Anyone can create packages, and we want anyone to create (and then update) their announcement topics.

I’ve not found any other workarounds here, but it seems like it’d be useful for other communities, too.


@RGJ’s Private Topics Plugin should be hackable to suit your needs.


I think it should be possible to hide the reply button in a category with CSS. It wouldn’t stop people from replying, but it would clearly be bad behavior if someone did.


Those are both an interesting thoughts — I’m open to other ways of acheiving this goal, too. Another option might just be changing the default to reply-as-new-topic:

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Hey Matt,

Maybe the Journal plugin would be something suitable? We are currently using it in our forum for grow diaries where non-authors can only leave indented comments while the “main feed” is for the topic author only.

You can see it in action here in one of our report subcategory: KANNABIA SPRING GROW '23 - Forum |


This seems like a good, lightweight option. It’s in an early draft stage, but I’m working on a theme component that will let me add the “published” tag to a topic in order to strip away all the user interface widgets I don’t want people to see.[1] I got the idea from this post:

It shouldn’t be hard to disable the reply button based on a tag or category.

  1. It’s part of a project to replace a company’s static pages with Discourse. Surprisingly, the Discourse version performs better on the PageSpeed Insights metrics! ↩︎


One would have to disable reply by mail also.


Good catch, but it looks like it might be off already.

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That looks really cool! I take it the journal plugin you’re using there is Pavilion’s?

Do those indented replies come through as notifications to everyone that’s watching the topic?

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My Private Replies plugin (not to be confused with my Private Topics plugin) does kind of what you want without hacking.


This plugin will accomplish what your looking for

It only allows the Op and a definable group participate in a topic.

ie Op & Staff.

No one can reply to the topic in the ie above

@RGJ beat me to it but as mentioned he was the creator.

Great plugin for a wide variety of uses.


Actually, Restricted Replies (Discourse official) and Private Replies (mine) are different plugins. I think in this case, Restricted Replies would be a better fit.


Yep, they come through as regular notifications. I am not even sure if there would be a way to disable notifications specifically.

Just one disclaimer: The journal plugin development might be discontinued with discourse 3.3 since we are pretty much the only community using it.

Thanks for clarifying. I see we posted 2 different plugins. My apologies for the confusing the 2.