Sick of old forum, considering starting a new one with Discourse

Hi all,

I read an online forum which is unbelievably badly moderated. Or probably not moderated at all. I’ve reached a point of no return, and I’m seriously considering gathering with some users there to create a new forum. I’m evaluating Discourse. I’d need to know some facts:

  1. for clarity, we need to provide users of the old forum with the ability to subscribe to the new one while keeping their username; what would be the best way to achieve this? Can it be achieved at all if I enable social log in?
  2. are there features to limit double accounts, such as banning emails and social accounts?
  3. is there support to understand if there are clones writing (ie. same person writing under two different accounts)?
  4. can users be blocked for a period of time?

I’ll probably come up with other questions in the coming days.

Edit: indeed…

  1. can editing a post be disabled, or at least limited to a very short timeframe?


Yes. Both (so long as the social account email matches the one they may have signed up with via the forum itself)

You will find this referred to as sockpuppets, there are thresholds you can set, and when met, Discourse stops the second account from being active and notifies you to take action (you can release it or ban it permanently).

Yes, via Suspensions

Yes, there is a setting to limit how long a post can be edited.


post edit time limit site setting. Use 0 to disable.


I don’t follow. You can choose the username. Just choose the same when creating the account.

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Right, I was not clear enough. Does the workflow support users creating an account with credentials of their choice, but blocking the account until an admin sets the username after they validated it’s indeed the same person? (the user would comunicate with an admin off-band, for example, via the the old forum private message system).

Alternatively, can an admin create an account with some social id provider as credential, a set username, and then somewhat notify the user that they complete authentication via the social id provider that was chosen?
E.g. old user “foobar” with a Google Account of Admin would create an account for with username “foobar”. As soon as this is done, receives an email from Google Accoutns to confirm its account.

This is a pretty complicated setup.

What about:

  1. Create forum (with settings must approve users, invite only)
  2. Send invites to users, with optional title “Register this week and keep you old username from
  3. Handle one or two cases with problems
  4. Open forum to the general public.

Although I guess setting must approve users only should allow doing as described in the first hypothesis? (user would create account, choose their username; account is locked and gets unlocked by an admin after they verify they are who they say) …?

Question 6: there’s support to identify sockpuppets. Another problem we have is we are pretty sure some account is used by multiple people, often at the same time (account is writing 60 messages per days, all days, at all times). Is there support to discriminate multiple concurrent sessions using the same account?

There are rate limits in place, but no, nothing can really detect 4 people are using the same account (to my knowledge).

If you are able to identify an account doing this, I strongly recommend locking them in at TL 0 so their account is heavily limited in what it can do. Forcing them to use separate accounts.

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The admin dashboard has an ip lookup section you can expand and see who shares an ip

That helps with sockpuppets, but if I have 4 people who are all logging in as myglobalaccount, there isn’t anything specific that will indicate that, unless I monitor the IPs for the given individual and they are consistently different depending who is using that account that day (but Discourse by default only stores two IPs per user, what they registered with and what they were using when they logged in). So there isn’t a history of IPs you can cross check with (plus various IPs could just mean they are on an ISP that for whatever reason, dynamically reassigns IPs with frequency).

I’m not sure how any software would really monitor 4 people using a single account. Especially if they all reside in the same building and would have the same public IP address, at that point you only have writing style to really use to determine it is 4 different people.


Just a note: in some jurisdictions, it helps with having a full history of IPs, or at least for a decent amount of time . i’d probably need this. Is it intended to provide something along this line in the future?