Specific subforum only for suspended members

On my current vBulletin site, we have a special subforum (colloquially called “The Island”), which is only visible to users that have been temporarily/permanently banned. Any posts made in The Island are only visible to their original posters and the forum staff. So it’s basically used as a chance for any banned members to talk directly to staff - to plead their case if they believe they were wrongfully banned, or (more often) to issue their final grievances/hateful comments at staff before taking their leave. Of course, we actually have 2 “Banned” groups - one with access to The Island and one without - so if they begin abusing their privileges, we can revoke their access altogether by moving them to the other group.

I was curious if there is a similar feature in Discourse. I didn’t see an option in the category settings for specifying access to only suspended members. The ways I thought of possibly doing it were:

  1. Replace The Island with the ability to create a private message with all staff. This would effectively serve the same purpose, as only the OP and Staff would be able to see any messages contained in it. Unfortunately, I imagine suspended users would (rightfully) be unable to privately message anyone, and even if that was hypothetically enabled, it wouldn’t be limited to only messaging staff.
  2. Create 2 custom user groups, “Banned” and “Banned w/o Island”. Change all the normal categories to not be visible to users in one of those two groups, and create The Island category that is only visible to those in the first new group. This would be fairly clunky and bypass the nice user suspension feature (which may have it’s own complications involved), but I think it would work at a minimum for my purposes.

If anyone has any other alternatives I haven’t thought about, or think this could relatively easily be incorporated into a feature/plugin, let me know. Thanks in advance for your help!

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I found this post after a bit more searching.

Didn’t realize there was a Silencing feature like that. That seems like it would work for Island access, and the Suspended users would be the equivalent to no Island access. So I guess I answered my own question. Sorry about that.


You can silence a user and send a PM to them and @staff. They won’t be able to write any posts, but they can reply to a PM to a staff member. Their access to read stuff will depend on their permissions; they’ll be able to read according to regular permissions (you could change their trust level or whatever when you silence them).

You could then suspend them at a later date, and they’d not be able to log in.


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