Non-Staff receive Notifications of Unlisted Topics


(cpradio) #1

I’m not sure if this is a bug or not, but it feels like unwanted behavior to me.

We had the following scenario take place:

  1. User A posted a topic
  2. User B who is subscribed to that category, opened the topic in a new tab and let it sit there
  3. Moderator 1 unlisted User A’s topic
  4. User B eventually clicks on the new tab and reads the topic (sees it is unlisted, etc.) and posts a reply.
  5. User A posts in the topic, User B gets a notification of the reply

Now I know there isn’t anything we can do to stop User B from seeing the topic in this regard, and I’m fine with that. What is odd is the topic is unlisted but User B continues to get notifications while it is unlisted. That seems odd to me, but it may be by design.

Things that may be important

  1. User A is TL 0
  2. User B is TL 3
  3. Moderator 1 and 2 are both TL 3+

I’m not overly concerned with this issue, but it kind of caught all of the Staff by surprise when User B started posting an in unlisted topic and repeat posting as part of the conversation.


(Kane York) #2

Well, in theory User B could have also kept a link around in a file on his computer and continued to read and reply to the topic, even sharing with friends etc.

I also know that, in the times that I’ve participated in unlisted topics on Meta, notifications were the primary way of getting back to the topic.


(cpradio) #3

Okay, new way to produce this. :smile:

Seems if you are watching the category the topic was posted in, you get a notification of the topic. Even when the topic becomes unlisted the notification persists (again, something I don’t see any easy correction for, or if one is needed).

Using the notification, I can easily get into the unlisted topic (as also pointed out by @riking)

Yeah, I guess what I’m really looking for is, 1) is this by design, or 2) any possibility of a bug existing here?

I’m not overly concerned with what happened, it just took all of us by surprise and we are uncertain if it should have behaved this way.


(Kane York) #4

That’s exactly my questions. @codinghorror?


(Jeff Atwood) #5

Why would being unlisted change notifications? Unlisted just means the topic will not show up in topic lists.


(cpradio) #6

I changed this to support as I’m not necessarily looking to alter anything just trying to get a better understanding of the desired behavior.

To answer your question though:
It becomes a non public discussion. The reason I and our staff was confused is vB had a similar function that made such topics invisible to regular users. So we keep expecting unlisted to function in a similar way.


(Kane York) #7

An identical function for Discourse - hiding it from regular users - would be to move the topic to Staff.

Unlisted is somewhere in between. It’s been used on Meta, for example, for security bugs - the original reporter still needs to participate in the thread (incl. receiving notifications), but it shouldn’t show up on the topic lists.


Unlisted topic updates go to "Send me an email for every new post" setting users
(cpradio) #8

Yeah, I guess we could do that. We’ve typically provided feedback to the OP via a post after unlisting it so they at least knew what was going on, I guess we’d have to use a PM for that in this scenario. We’ll figure something out. Right now it doesn’t happen often enough to warrant a request for change/alteration, we just weren’t sure what was going on and if it was expected (first time it really caught us off-guard).