User watching categories despite not having access

Continuing the discussion from How do I set category tracking level defaults historically:

Hm, if by 100% you mean that no notification will ever be created for a post that the user doesn’t have access to, then I have no reason to believe otherwise. But if you mean that the names of categories that a user doesn’t have access to will never appear in that users category settings, then I have evidence to the contrary and wonder what that means.

Here is what I happened:

  1. I included various restricted categories in default categories watching first post, lets call them privateA, privateB and privateC.
  2. A new users signed up. At the time of signup, the user didn’t have access to any of the private categories.
  3. The user requests access to privateA and I add him to the group that grants that access.
  4. I check the users category settings (under u/<username>/preferences/categories) and find that categories privateA, privateB, and privateC are all listed in the users watching first post settings.

(I don’t believe step three is relevant here, but I include it for completeness.)

What I would have expected (though not wished for) is that the new user would not be watching any private categories given that he didn’t have access to any of them at signup (if he had been invited with an invite-token granting immediate access to a category, I would have expected only that category to be included in the users watch list).

And since it was my understanding that the default categories watching first post setting is applies only once (at sign-up), I would not even have expected the user to be watching privateA. But here we are and he’s watching all of them. Are my wishes so strong that they magically made discourse behave (almost) the way I would like it to?

As an admin, you will see that the user is watching the private categories. If you impersonate the user, instead of viewing their profile as an admin, you will not see the private categories in their notification settings. The private categories will not appear for the user unless they are granted access to them.


This is fantastic. So I had misunderstood how the default categories watching (etc) settings work. I suspect this could be clarified some place (I’ll point it out when I see the right spot).

Thanks for clarifying. It looks like this solves this issue for me.

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