Private vs public site and sharing topic links


I have a little bit controversial idea. I have a forum where it’s hard to decide for me whether it should be private or public (I mean should it require login for reading). What is for private: I want to see who uses it, it’s kind of a local community so it’s not much sense in anonymity. But being private for the forum has a strong consequence - it’s not possible to share deep links in social networks (FB and the like). That’s bad. That’s so bad that I doubt about keeping it private.

So the idea is: would it be possible to allow sharing topic links and keeping auth required? It’s possible to detect FB-crawler (which requests topic page for making a preview) and let it pass. Indeed it won’t be strictly private after that as anyone can pretend he’s a FB-crawler. But I don’t need strict security for reading here.

It could be the 3rd mode after public/private - require login for reading, but allow previews/sharing.

What do you think?

Maybe what you really want here is guest gate


Probably this is what I need, thanks for the suggestion! I’ll give it a try.