This is a suggestion to add a feature to the category security, to restrict access to a topic to the author. By adding other groups to the category security, e.g. author & tech_support_group, you can easily create customized messaging experiences.
In my use case, I would like to have a tech support ticketing system, so a user can report some issue, which may be sensitive or boring to other users, and the topic will only be visible to themselves and anyone in the service group. The ticketing workflow is a common usage pattern that might be called orders, requests, submissions, etc., depending on the community needs
Another use-case of this feature would be to create a Drafts category, for situations when you are not ready to post but want to save your work.
They just have to report it via email is literally the only difference – and that’s usually what you want anyways, as pretty much every company ever has a firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com address.
1. User starts new topic, like any other topic.
2. User chooses category, which has author-only feature attached. They publish it.
3. Topic is visible to author only, and any other group given access through permissions.
Yes, there probably needs to be an icon attached that identifies the topic has author-only visibility. Not unlike unlisted.