Chat rules/guidelines and moderation

I would love to be able to link to our own rules/guidelines around using Discourse Chat when someone first uses the feature.

In our case, we really encourage folks to use Topics for technical questions so there’s more searchability in the future and more likelihood for your question to be answered. But right now, there’s no way to see our guidelines before posting in the chat.

In addition, some of our employees are getting spammed with DMs for questions. This is also against our chat guidelines, but as admin, I can’t see this happening unless that employee reports it to me (either personally or by flagging the message). This is another case where sharing the guidelines before using Chat would be handy.

I don’t want to restrict Chat further than I already have, but would love some more moderation options. Thank you!


Hey Mia :wave: Thanks for reaching out!

I’m seeing two separate, but related, parts of this request:

  • How do I share my community’s chat guidelines with users, especially before they start using chat?

  • How do I monitor / enforce those guidelines?

It sounds like you’d like to focus on the first point to begin — to start, can you tell me a little bit about where your guidelines live today? I’m assuming they live in a topic somewhere but please let me know if I’ve got that wrong.


Hi Lindsey! You’re right, there are two different parts here.

The guidelines are in this topic, which, as far as I can tell, I can’t connect to the actual Chat experience. If I add it into the channel description, URLs don’t work.

(Also, I’m realizing now that maybe I should re-title this post now that it’s been launched for a bit, to make it clear that the guidelines are here – but either way, that doesn’t solve the issue of connecting that to the chat channels themselves.)

I also added something to our FAQ/Community Expectations page, but I imagine most people don’t read that fully.

  • Don’t DM Camunda employees or others your question; post a Topic instead.

Let’s start by outlining your ideal scenario, and then work backwards from there to figure out what options are available to you today that might help move things in the right direction.

Could you please walk me through what you’d like to see happen? I understand that you’d like users to see these guidelines before they begin interacting in chat — but is it mostly a matter of getting them to the topic or is there some other way you would like to present these guidelines? Is the first time users go into chat sufficient, or is there some other interaction / event that should result in users seeing / being directed to the guidelines? Understanding these specifics will help me figure out how we might support this or at least get you closer to this ideal state.

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Ideally, they would open the chat for the first time, and the onboarding experience would show them how chat works and what our guidelines are specifically. I’m imagining a little pop up box that says:

Chat Guidelines

  1. If you have a question, please create a forum post rather than posting in chat. You are more likely to get an answer on a forum post, and it helps future users looking for an answer to the same question :slight_smile:
  2. Please do not spam folks in private messages or in the chat channels. This includes excessive tagging.
  3. Do not message Camunda employees with questions unless they have told you to do so. See guideline #1 for more information.
  4. As always, follow our Code of Conduct and keep in mind our Community Values.

Accept the guidelines to chat

And requires that they check the box before seeing the chat.

It might be overkill, but a pop-up reminder of our DM rules for the first time they open a DM would be nice, too.

It looks like you’re DMing someone for the first time! As a reminder, please do not spam folks in DMs or message Camunda employees with questions unless they have told you to do so. Thank you!

For the long term, I would appreciate something that links to our rules topic, so any user, not just first-time chatters, can review them. Maybe in the channel descriptions somewhere?


Thanks for sharing, that helps me visualize what you have in mind quite clearly. I can understand how it would be useful having the “terms of service” treatment here, so that you can feel assured that users have at least seen the guidelines before interacting in chat.

I’m afraid we don’t have anything planned at the moment that can support that functionality exactly, though we have heard similar types of requests in the past and will consider how we might support communicating guidelines with first-time chat users. In the meantime, I have a few suggestions that might help:

  • First, I would recommend creating a separate post specifically for chat guidelines. Currently, they’re located within an announcement post, which makes them harder to find by folks who are browsing your topics. You could also pin this post for greater visibility.

  • You could also add the chat guidelines post to the top sidebar section, by clicking More > Customize this section.

    CleanShot 2023-10-24 at 12.43.25

  • You might consider including a link to the chat guidelines in the “Welcome User” email template, accessible under Admin > Customize > Email.

Could you please let me know if you have questions about any of these suggestions? Happy to discuss this need further, and appreciate all you’ve shared so far!