Ignore auto-track settings if topic is in muted category

Our Discourse forum has a Lounge that I muted. Sometimes I’ll go to the Lounge to read topics if the forum is having a slow day, but generally they’re super low-quality posts and I don’t like them showing up in my normal feed (which is why I muted the category). A problem arises when I enter these topics though because they’re immediately set to tracked and now show up in “all categories”.

I could increase the time it takes for topics to be tracked when I enter them, but that would interfere with topics in categories I haven’t muted being tracked. It’d be great if topics in muted categories ignored the track settings and never automatically switched to tracked. I would still be able to manually track them if I wanted to keep current on updates to the topic.


You are able to manually Mute topics.

True, one extra click when you get to the bottom of a topic, but it works.

That’s what I’ve been doing, but doing so can get tedious.

A user has muted a category. The user opens a topic in that muted category. The user muted that category because they don’t want it showing up in their feed on “all categories”. In spite of that, we ignore the user’s choice to mute the category and start showing its topics just because the user entered those topics once? I could have just clicked a link to a Lounge topic in a chat group and now have to mute it manually just because I opened it. That doesn’t seem like great behavior.

If I muted a category, chances are I don’t want to see the topics in that category. I shouldn’t see those topics in my feed unless I manually track them.

I have to ask.

If you Mute a category because you aren’t interested in topics in that category, why would you go to a topic in that category?

I’m among the most active on the forum – I enjoy participating in it, but when activity grinds to a halt and I’m not seeing any new posts in my feed it gets lonely and boring. I’ll go to the Lounge to see if there’s any discussion I can take part in.

The category I muted may be low-quality, but sometimes it’s better than nothing. Some of the topics I’m glad I have muted are “Do you use the shower or bath”, “What’s your star sign?”, “x “celebrity” nobody knew about died today! RIP!”, but there also some topics I’m interested in such as MIT simulates virtual physics from real-world video. Sometimes I can’t tell if the thread is interesting or not from the title, or maybe it has an interesting title but doesn’t really have a great discussion going on, and then I have to mute those threads whenever I open them before leaving.

I don’t see us changing this. You’re in the topic; we have to assume that might be interested in tracking it; standard rules should still apply. Building in obscure exceptions like these is a recipe for confused users.