Thanks Lisa for jumping in here. I do think this is a bug and not a feature request, so am not sure why @codinghorror has recategorized it.
You are talking about muting and the /tags page, right? I’m not so concerned about that actually and I think that is all working fine and as advertised. Or at least I haven’t noticed any problems with it.
What this topic is about is the newish (or newly discovered by me) “show filter by tag” admin setting which turns on a lovely pulldown list of tags on e.g. the latest page. This is hugely powerful and really makes the tags massively useful as a tool for organizing topics across our forum. With tags accessed from here, we can dispense with alot of sub-categories.
I’ve left this on for a bit on my site, because it seems to be so wonderfully useful. But check out these screenshots which illustrate the problem.
First, looking at latest logged in as me, with access to private categories - note the tags pulldown which is awesome in this view.
Now look at the same view in incognito mode - it’s at http://community.namati.org so you can see for yourself. Anonymous users should not be seeing tags like achievements, birthday, or discourse which are only used in the private categories.
Meanwhile, here’s what happens when, in incognito mode, someone clicks on the discourse tag in the pulldown menu. We only use this tag in private categories.
It’s also what happens when, logged in as someone with access to the private category with topics tagged birthday but when browsing another category:
Without proper filtering, this is just going to cause alot of frustration as users click and don’t find what they are looking for and then have to keep trying.