Follow Plugin 👨

as a moderator, I’ve for a long time wanted the ability to “follow”, or somehow track an individual in order to monitor them, and this plugin does exactly that. However, i’d love if a “stealth follow” was available to staff and moderators, where we can follow a user, without them getting a notification, and without our name showing up in their followers list.
This way, we can use this feature to monitor certain users that are either trolling, harassing, or that we suspect will post malicious content in the future, and hopefully catch them before anyone has to flag it.

I just followed a user for the sake of tracking him, and he decided to follow me back, which i dont want, but i cant deny him from following me either.

I dont see this as essential, but it’d be a neat bonus to have. And i’d love if you implemented it, but its not an expectation. The plugin is great as it is :slight_smile:


hm, it’s a per-following (i.e. per user you’re following) setting, so it’ll need to go somewhere in the “Network” UI.

This should give you a list of users’ follower count in descending order

SELECT user_id, max(u.cnt) as "Followers"
    SELECT user_id, cardinality(string_to_array(value, ',')) as cnt
    FROM user_custom_fields u
    WHERE name = 'followers'
    ) u
GROUP BY user_id, cnt

Interesting! I’ve provisionally slotted it in for June: Add stealth follow - Tasks - Pavilion


As a workaround for this, you can Impersonate that user, and stop following yourself from his profile


Seems like a slimy thing to do. A bit awkward to have to explain myself in case i get caught :stuck_out_tongue:
I’ll leave it alone, but im super happy that this is being implemented! Great work!


Hello, My forum does not dispatch follow notifications… why?

I see it as being part of the “Network” area, as you said.

I think that it can work as one of the following (please share your thoughts):

  • A dropdown under the user’s name with the same levels as Discourse normally has.

  • Have the whole user space/rectangle as a clickable dropdown. (This one kind of disables the profile clicking part).

  • Putting one of those square buttons with dropdown options like the ones next to the topics right next to the user name, this ones: image

What do you think?

Thanks for trying it out :slight_smile: Could you explain a bit more? Are you not seeing in-app notifications? Are you referring to emails? Can you test it out on and see if you can reproduce it?

Cool, so something like this?


Yes, that’s it!

I think that, with that layout, you maintain the Discourse visual consistency and logic, because is the same as the one used for topics.

The issue is whenever someone follows a person, that person does not get notified in the notification area. He doesn´t know if anybody followed him or not until he enters to network tab in his profile.

hm, can you link me to your site (i.e. where this isn’t working)? This is working fine on my sandbox, for example when you followed me. I just followed you on my sandbox; you should also have a notification.


Hello @angus A very cool plugin, however when someone follows you, it only shows the name as a notification, without the "has started following you. Is there a way to fix that?



First of all I want to say a big thank you to @angus for this terrific plugin. My community is getting a lot out of it.

One question. I would love to be able to set up an “auto follow” when a new user joins. It would work like this:

  1. User B joins
  2. User A automatically follows them

Any ideas how to implement this?


If you want to follow all users, then just read everything.

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To clarify, what I mean is something similar to Autobot, where as soon as a new user enters Discourse an admin or other specified user automatically follows them using the Follow Plugin.

The follow plugin shows blank notifications that are not linking anywhere:

Here’s the HTML;

After digging in, it seems the event here is that this user has started following me.

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Hey @zaino and @bartv thanks for the feedback. Could you submit respective feature requests and bug reports using these forms? Thanks:

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Thanks @angus . I submitted the feature request. Hope to be able to support your work with more than a thank you someday.


This plugin is absolutely amazing. Is there any chance for it to become an official part of Discourse?


Thanks David!

I don’t speak for the Discourse team, but I would say there’s a low likelihood of that. That said, you could always raise it as a #feature request. There may be similar feature requests already, so do a thorough search before posting a new one.


I will do that, thank you!