Introducing Discourse Discover

It would most likely be used to help users of Discourse forums discover new forums with the matching forum software, much like a community hub


And Discourse Discover could take advantage of the new ActivityPub Plugin to show federated topics!


I would like to know these details too. Because I will have to update my privacy policy on my forum and I want to be able to explain it to my users.

Is there a detailed overview of the data that will be shared with this (US based) company? Can someone answer that question? This can be tricky, GDPR wise.


I don’t think it has any user data at all, just activity. I just asked because I am a general telemetry hater and want nothing to do with it whatsoever. Cool idea, sending activity/usage data to discourse is not.


I hope so. But privacy in the EU is not a guessing game. It’s about being in control of your data :nerd_face:


I did see this commit just now:

(in specific this test file)

I don’t think this is all of it (there’s probably a lot more), but if it’s not, then that would be great. URL title and locale is not that huge of a data point unlike what most companies (like apple/google/microsoft) classify as “usage statistics”.


You will not be sharing data with us outside of your URL and anonymised usage stats, I don’t believe. @mae can confirm. That has no impact on GDPR. You are not sharing PII.


That’s awesome to hear! However, to really be in control of the data being sent, I will need to know what exactly is being sent. Including the anonymized usage stats. The GDPR is not just about personal data, it’s about being in control of what data you process, share and why.


Totally understand.

@pmusaraj is better suited to answer this question for you. :slight_smile:


The include in discourse discover site setting currently only collects the following:

  • forum url
  • forum title
  • locale (forum language)

If your instance also has the share anonymized statistics site setting enabled, we also collect counts for topics, posts, users, active users, likes, chat (if chat is enabled). There has been no change here, but I am including this here for completeness. This information is also displayed in a Discourse instance’s /about page.


Awesome! Thanks for the details! Then I have one last remaining question. This information you collect, where is that defined in your privacy policy? It would be nice to know that this information is just used for this discovery purpose and not shared with anyone else. And even though it’s not sensitive information (it’s quite public I suppose), it would still be nice if you also state how long you store the data. I also assist in hosting a Discourse forum at the company where I work for a community of developers. It would be cool to also expose this forum on this discovery overview. However, our privacy department for sure will ask how the company behind Discourse treats this data. Sorry if this comes off as too nitpicking, but I know how they work and what they want to see before they approve something like this. Thanks!


I think your best bet for an official answer to your question is to write an email to (also listed in the privacy policy you linked). I personally don’t see any privacy issues with this data since it doesn’t contain anything specific about individuals, it only has aggregate numbers and information that is already public. But I am not a lawyer.


I also don’t see a privacy issue. But it’s about being in control of your data. Knowing what data is shared, why, for how long and if data is anonymized and how. It seems all alright. But it doesn’t seem to be clearly documented somewhere. I can update my privacy policy stating that this data is shared. But then the next question is, how is this data handled. Even if it’s not private data, it may still be data from the users (if this isn’t clearly scoped). The GDPR isn’t there to just protect medical data. And sometimes it’s indeed not needed to state it, but it does need to be clear that this is the case. Welcome in the daily struggle in Europe :slight_smile: But it’s good that these laws exist and force a more privacy aware culture.


When I go to the Discourse Discover page, all I get is a “Coming Soon” message.

Is this not operational yet?


I’m not sure when this is coming only that it’ll be soon (hopefully) :smiley:

(JammyDodger edited the above topic on the 29th Feb)


Correct. We are currently working on the design and will update when we have more news.


How could a server’s IP reasonably be considered PII when Discourse has a built-in way for users to ask a forum’s server to connect to a server they control via HTTP and/or HTTPS + the server’s IP is most likely already in DNS records for the domain being submitted for the Discourse Discover feature?


A pre-launch version of this site is now ready :tada:! Please click on on the link above to check it out and feel free to share your feedback below.

Many thanks to all the communities that have opted in already! If you are a community manager, consider this a small nudge to opt in (see OP for instructions). The full launch of this site will include integration on the website and inclusion in the DiscourseHub mobile app for iOS and Android.


Awesome!! The hub looks awesome, great work!

Are we able to search through communities by keywords in this?


Maybe it would be better if the scrolling position automatically reset to the top of the new category instead of maintaining the previous scroll position when you switch between categories.

And I have the impression that the moving splashes are flickering.