How are you supposed to contact a moderator if you no longer control the email of your old account?

I’m trying to sign up on some discourse based site. Turns out I have an account there from 2004, they migrated some database. I no longer have access to the email address I was using in 2004 but I’d still like to use the same id (the id I use pretty much everywhere I can).

So I click the help link which tells me to contact a moderator and sends me to the list of moderators none of which I can contact unless I first log in.

See any problem here? Can’t log in. Can’t contact mod unless I log in.


Have you contacted the forum using the contact?

For example:

Go to the bottom of the page to find this. I don’t see this as a feature request.



Usually the /about page will provide an email address for cases like this.

In my community we provide a prominent link to a contact us form, hosted on a wordpress site.


One option is to simply create a new account for the purposes of contacting staff. Discourse provides the possibility of reattributing posts, so you can create the account, contact the moderators, recover the old account, and ask them to reattribute the posts from the new account to your old one, then delete the new one.

Whether or not they’re willing to do all that is another discussion entirely. If it were mine, I would be happy to accommodate. Other admins might be unwilling.


I did not because the wording “critical issue or urgent matter” seemed to me that password resetting didn’t fit either of those so it felt inappropriate to use that method of contact.

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I would personally say that not being able to login to the site would constitute an urgent matter. :wink:


Indeed? I would definitely be considering it if I can’t login. See @Heather_Dudley for confirming.


This is a tricky one and the help tries to cover this, part of Password Reset:


you didn’t click the our helpful staff link which just leads to links to accounts you can only contact if you were able to log in

Followed by the email at the very bottom with wording that suggests to me don’t contact unless the issue is about the site itself, not individual user’s account issues.

But it’s not a “critcal or urgent matter affecting this site”.

Well, I suppose you could refuse to contact it if you like, but it’s a “Critical issue OR urgent matter affecting this site.” Two separate articles.

Not being able to log in is a critical issue.

Yes, this is a somewhat ambiguously worded statement. There are better ways to phrase it that could make it clearer. I would have opted for “If you have a critical issue or an urgent matter that affects this site.”

However, if this is your only means of contact, you’ve only got two options. Contact this address, or create a new account. Quibbling over linguistic ambiguity here won’t get you logged in.


The original claim is correct; if you have lost control of the email address that you used to for a Discourse instance you have no choice but to contact the site staff out of band (usually via email).

The about page does have a contact email at the bottom, the idea is that you don’t want people randomly emailing you, so it’s not made front and center on the about page – you have to scroll all the way down to the bottom. A certain amount of personal initiative is required, I guess? It’s a balancing act.


It’s not about it not being front and center. It’s about the wording arguably discouraging using it for anything other than urgent and critical issues related to the site itself. But I sure, I can go ahead and ignore that directive and contact them via that email anyway.

I’m going to keep saying it: If you can’t log in please contact staff look @codinghorror @Heather_Dudley and myself and others have said. I would definitely go and do it :slight_smile:

LOL, so I created a new account but apparently they configured their discourse to disallow private messages as there is no “message” button clicking any moderator’s account. So the advice on the password reset dialog to “please contact our helpful staff” as useless. Maybe discourse needs to change that wording if they’ve configured their instance such that private messaging is disabled.

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You need to be trust level 1 to send a PM so you’ll need to read a few topics over 10 minutes.

But yes if they do not provide an email contact in settings then the email will not be on the about page either.