Make groups invisible to the public

hello discourse community.

here is axim from freiLand cultural center in Potsdam. We use discourse for our internal organisation and we are over 150 people using ist. It works fine.

I have a question:

We do not want that the groups or users can be seen from the public. In the administration settings you can make the users invisible to the public - “hide user profiles from public”. I find no way to adjust this in the same way also for the groups. There is a setting to make also the groups “invisible” but then this applies both to the public as well as the logged-in mode. That makes no sense if registered users can’t see the groups anymore. Did I miss something?

all da best - axim


We can’t mark groups hidden @tgxworld?

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Pretty sure groups are either visible (to everyone) or hidden (to everyone). The request here is in-between the current options - hidden to anon.


an another thing is, even when I decided to make the “user-section” invisible to the public it’s still possible to see the usernames when you click on any group in the public interface. I know that you only can see the user-names and not the whole profiles, but if you work with “clear names” as user-names it’s maybe important also not to see the usernames for anonymous users… It’s not what I understand under the function “invisible” to public…

I may be missing something … and I agree that the facility to hide groups from anonymous users might have its uses, but if you are running a wholly internal community @axim, with the need to hide users and groups from the public, why not just make it “login required” and put the whole site behind a login screen?

If you are hiding groups and users, you can’t also be keeping threads public, can you?


yeah, maybe that’s the only solution. Actually we use a “public” section for providing press releases for the press…

Is there a way to either make all groups hidden to everyone, or disable the hyperlink for groups a person is a member of on their own profile page?

We are using some groups that automate via SSO to identify the types of users and potentially gate certain areas or our community. We don’t mind if users can see that they are part of a group, but we don’t want them to be able to see this info for anyone else. If I make the groups HIDDEN and turn off the directory then they only show up on my own profile if I’m a member of a group. But if I click on that group name I then see the whole list.

Any suggestions on this? We’d like to either

Hide groups even on your own profile
Disable hyperlink to groups shown on own profile

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I am also looking for option for making certain users and groups invisible. Option to be invisible can be granted by admin to certain groups. Reason is simple, some would like to join the forum and not be seen. And yet, people in general would like plugins like who’s online.

I often want to make some changes to my forum but i get so many messages once online. A few minutes changes ends up wasting my half an hour.

There is option to be anonymous but the admin section or certain group section is not available on it.

I have a feeling a better approach would not to have this be a Group setting, but a new Who’s Online plugin setting. Something like a “I’m busy / short on time and I don’t want to come across as being rude by ignoring members right now” setting to toggle “reveal my presence - hide my presence”.


I am one of the users of that specific discourse and due to this setting, it is not possible to have any category published to the public.
We are running a makerspace as part of the project and would like to share at least technical discussions with a broader community.
I understand and support the need of hiding users and groups from the public.

Is there any way to have a mostly closed discourse while publishing some categories to the outside ?
If not: do you see a chance that this could be implemented by some plugin ?

We have the same situation and the same need.

Can you explain your actual use case here, curious to see if we can work something else out.

I’m a group owner on the site, rather than the admin - who is currently looking at this. Hence my answer may be a bit sketchy. I’ve asked him to consider a suggestion from one of your staff to solve this for us, but can’t try it myself - and looking at it more closely, it doesn’t cover public vs members of the site.

Our site has multiple categories which are private, and one public category.

I noticed that our (and all other) groups in our site were visible to the public, along with the members and their photos and user profiles. Many of our users would not like this.

When I raised this with the admin, he agreed that this was not appropriate and hid the groups. However, he couldn’t find a way to do this without also hiding our public category.

So what we need is a way to keep the public category visible while limiting what user information the public can access.

I hope that makes sense.

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I’m confused here. Changing group visibility does not affect the visibility of categories. As mentioned in the other topic, if you change the visibility from everyone to Group owners, members and admins, it will not be visible to the public. You can see how this works right here on Meta. If you look at you’ll see ~10 groups. We actually have over 40 groups, but most are private. Setting the group visibility has not affected your ability to view categories here on Meta when not logged in.

In the case of the site mentioned in the other topic, your admin made the site login required. That will prevent access to everything when not logged in. If your goal is to limit group visibility only, the login_required site setting is not what you want.


Thank you Josh; I’ll pass this on too and hopefully we’ll be sorted.


I need to further clarify something here if that is okay, also for the benefit of my awesome admin @pacharanero

Once this is done, I believe that the group is invisible to site members who are not group members.

What we need is the ability to make groups visible to all site members, while being invisible to the general public. Half way in between ‘everyone’ and ‘Group owners, members and admins’ if you will.

So you want groups visible to people who are logged in, but not anonymous users?

Your best bet may be to make the groups invisible to non-members and create a topic that advertises them.


Yep, like Jay I’m not aware of a visibility setting for TL0 instead of everyone (TL0 being all logged in users). It’s an interesting idea, curious to hear what @sam thinks.


Yes thanks, this is the obvious workaround. Not very pretty though.

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