Preference: Automatically Watch Topic when I am @mentioned, quoted, or invited

On some other systems, once you are “mentioned” you are automatically watching that topic.

I think this would be useful for communities who are used to such behavior, and/or where login is required and the members already have a high level of trust with each other.

Here’s my proposal for this feature:

When someone quotes me, mentions my @username, or invites me to a topic, set that topic to [ Watched | Tracked | Normal ] default is Normal.

The specific proposal above is based on the verbiage in the existing user preference (below) and the proposed spec for this other feature request here: Automatically set Topics to Watching after posting


This seems rather extreme, as anyone could force you into a rather high level of notifications on a topic, basically against your will. I can’t recall hearing any custome ever ask for this?

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Assuming the preference defaults to off, the user should be consciously aware of that when turning this on. From the description, it is clear that other users trigger the bump in notification level.

I can see where this is useful, particularly in mailing-list mode. Say I watch the cat category. I get emails for all posts there. A user mentions me in the jaguar category, which I don’t watch. I’ll get the email about that post, but nothing afterwards. This would fix that.

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I think it is fair for an “internal” discourse instance where everyone is trusted. For public instances it seems very scary.


This edge use case will be further mitigated by having the track-status changeable from the always-visible sidebar menu. Once you follow that mention, quote or invite to a post mid-stream, you can immediately decide whether to start watching this topic or leave it be.


Trust your community by default. Let the admin turn it off if it gets abused?

Uh, no, it is the opposite. Safe by default, let risky potentially damaging or dangerous features be manually enabled by admins.