Convert a category to private and add users to a specific group with access

The title might be a bit cryptic, but the context is to convert a category to “private” but have a way to identify all users that participated in it in the past <timeframe> and add them to a group so that it can be set as having access.

Let’s say the group can be created prior to this.

What is currently supported:

  • Create a group
  • Assign permissions for a group to a category
  • Alter the category permissions

What is missing is a way to say “assign these users to a group”, based on their interaction in this category in a specific timeframe.

Maybe there is a query or code that I can execute that can identify those users and assign them to a group?

I’ve used a Data Explorer query to figure out who participated in a topic based on user_actions:

-- [params]
-- int :topic = 3620561

select user_id, 
       sum(action_type) actions,
       sum(case action_type when 5 then 1 else 0 end) replies 
from user_actions ua
     join users u on = ua.user_id
where target_topic_id = :topic
      and moderator is false
      and admin is false
group by ua.user_id

That includes actions such as replies, likes, edits and mentions. I also have a query that includes poll responses. This was for gathering leads, but I expect some of the people who did something besides reply might have a claim on the topic. Defining “participated” might be a useful exercise.

To expand to the entire category, join with topics t on target_topic_id = and add category_id to the where clause. Shouldn’t be hard to define the timeframe based on ua.created_at.


Thank you @jericson, this is exactly what I was looking for.

I am guessing that I could feed the results to a query that adds all users to a group then.
Is there anyone that have had experience doing that? Maybe it’s better to brutally copy-paste the user ids and run a ruby function if there is something available?

That’s usually my preferred solution. But it probably makes more sense to pull a page from the bulk operations examples and apply the where clause on the User object in rails. (Having a test environment for a time like this helps!)

Depending how many there are, you can paste a comma separated list into the Add Users to the group box, if that’s any use?

(There’s also an Automation to add users to a group based on a badge, which you could use this SQL as a base for. That might be a little convoluted if you’re happy with the Rails option though)

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Just brought the staging environment app for this reason (and also testing what breaks with ember 5 :stuck_out_tongue: )

I’ll dig into it in the next few days, “real job” allowing me the time :smiley:

Just to leave the query completed in case others need it:

select ua.user_id, u.username, sum(action_type) actions, sum(case action_type when 5 then 1 else 0 end) replies from user_actions ua 
join users u on = ua.user_id
join topics t on target_topic_id =
where ua.created_at > 'YYYY-MM-DD'::date and t.category_id = CATEGORY_ID
group by ua.user_id, u.username;

Just replace the YYY-MM-DD with your cutoff date and CATEGORY_ID with your category ID.

The result will show the user_id, username, actions, and replies.

Can you point me to that script @JammyDodger ?

I can’t see it in the link pasted by @jericson

I can extract a list of users (it will be around 250).

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The options I suggested are available in the UI, though the second one needs the Discourse Automation plugin (it’s a good plugin though :slight_smile:)

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I am sorry but I don’t understand how that could help me.

I have a list of user IDs (or usernames even) and I need to add them to a group.
I don’t see in the current automations a use case that could help me. There is only adding to group based on badges or custom field but that only means adding a further step (adding a badge to all those users or adding a custom field to users and then adding a value to the specific users I want).

Is there not a bulk_add_user_to_group function or even a add_user_to_group that I can just call in a loop maybe?

Yeah, it would be a little more convoluted doing it that way. But if you have a shortish list you can export the explorer results as a CSV, open up in notepad, and copy&paste them into the Add Users box:

You might be able to do 250 in one go, though I haven’t tried with that many. A handful of batches should cover it though, if not.

It should also be possible through the API using a PUT request to the eg /groups/49/members.json endpoint (you’ll need your own group_id) with a list of your usernames/emails.

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Worked perfectly, I forgot you could add multiple usernames to the UI :slight_smile:

For others, to export the psql query result simply run:

\o /home/discourse/output.txt
<your query here>

Now in /home/discourse/output.txt you will have the result of the query as it would be printed on screen.

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