'Per-Category' anonymous mode

Discourse has an out-of-the-box anonymous mode whereby users can manually enter and exit from anonymous mode, but what we really need for our community (and had on our previous phpBB-based forum) is the ability to force anonymity within a single category of the forums. Just like this non-official plugin: GitHub - communiteq/discourse-anonymous-categories: Always-anonymous categories for Discourse

In our case, we don’t want users to be able to post anonymously everywhere on the forums, but having a single anonymous category is a great way for our community of pilots to be able to openly ask dumb questions and talk thru mistakes and learn hard lessons from each other.

Anyway, hoping Discourse might enable this ‘per-category’ anonymity at some point in the future. It’s a big piece of the puzzle that’s now missing for us as we transition over to Discourse from phpBB.


So just use the plugin? :thinking:


i was just about to type the same reply. i’m not sure why you don’t use the plugin if that is what you want? or is it because your install doesn’t support use of that plugin?


Thanks but yes, our Business install of Discourse.org hosting only supports the use of official plugins. I can understand why this is, and thus the feature request to support this especially given it is already established “in the wild”.


You can automatically assign all anonymous users to a group, and then only allow that anonymous group to post in specific categories… does that cover what you’re looking for?

edit: oh sorry, I just noticed that I gave you this answer before in another topic - you’re looking for a simpler process for this then?

Hi Kris, we are currently using that method and thanks for initially defining it. It does accomplish basically what we need. However, after a test run with some of our users the general feedback was that it was pretty cumbersome to have to manually enter and exit from anonymous mode…

So I have to go in to my profile and change to anonymous mode in order to post in here, then change back after I post?

Not the end of the world, but it would be better if a (sub)category could be setup to automatically generate anonymous posts within it. It would just take the guesswork and confusion out of the equation.

Furthermore, because we just want anonymous posting available only in one single subcategory, you have to go thru and disable anonymous posting in every other category, and also remember to do this for new categories created in the future.

Finally, users still see the “enter anonymous mode” in their profile, and it’s a little unclear to the average user that anonymous mode really just applies only to that one subcategory.


Well, about 6 months later and we’ve gotten a lot of negative feedback from implementing the anonymous forum category this way :frowning: Our members are just too used to being able to post anonymously in a forum category without having to worry about entering and exiting from anon mode. Most need to be guided thru the process, and many will just never try.

Just bumping this as a feature request. We would be willing to help cover the cost of development! As I see it now though, unless per-category anon posting becomes an officially supported plugin/feature, we are out of luck!


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@awesomerobot would it be possible with css to replace posters names with an Anon? I know you would also need to css hide quoted username(though likely will show username in composer raw) and not display user card…

Not likely ideal.

That would give people a false sense of safety since the CSS can easily be removed or the API response can be inspected, revealing the true identity of the poster.

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Well.as said not ideal. Unless anonymous category geys added to discourse as a core feature. Unless there is another way to do do with a theme component. Which from my understanding you need a plugin for this level of change.