Ways to post confidential info for moderator eyes only?

I beg of you to make “and author” optional. We very much need staff-staff comms.

Sorry, let me be a bit more explicit about what we plan. (going to call this whisper)

New Site Settings

  • Allow staff to create whisper posts globally
  • Allow users to create whisper posts globally

New per category

  • Allow staff to create whisper posts
  • Allow users to create whisper posts

If whisper is enabled show in composer

[ ] Post is Hidden

  • Hidden posts are visible by the Author of the post and Staff

This allows for 2 use cases quite flexibly.

  1. Allow end users to share information with staff right in the stream
  2. Allow staff to discuss stuff with other staff right in the stream

Whisper will be treated VERY close to the way we treat “deleted” posts. In fact I am thinking the cleanest implementation is something that layers on top of deleted.


Removed by the author who didn’t understand. :slight_smile:

The author of the post, not the topic. You kinda need to be able to see your own messages.

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Oh! I’m having a moment of embarrassment I think. Got it, this is for the post, not the overall topic. Thank you.

Would this also work for topics? If so, it would mostly solve this.

Nope, it will not work for topics.

Minimum trust_level?

In addition to author and staff only, could we possibly have an option to specify the minimum trust_level for a particular post when creating a whisper? e.g. trust_level >= 0 so the post is only visible to users that are logged in, or trust_level >= 4 since they’re almost like mods, and a ‘staff only’ option for very sensitive info.

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No, not in scope for our initial go at this, maybe later.

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Why not have a category setting which only allows user’s to see their own threads?

We have two such sections on my forums: Contact Admin and Contact a Moderator.

Create / Reply / See (All Threads)
Create / Reply / See Own Threads

This category already exists. It’s now called “Messaging”

Is there some reason that wouldn’t work for you?

Unfortunately it’s still not possible to send private messages to a group; only manually-defined lists of recipients are possible.

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Sure it is! I just did it. It auto-expands the group, but you can type the group name and it shows up in the auto-complete…

Can you say more about how this is done? I’m unable to do what you describe (get any auto-complete or expansion) either here on meta or my own site.

Go to Groups, create a group (or open an existing)
Let all users reference the alias for said group
Go to Profile > Messages > New Message
Type group name in Add user field (without ‘@’, example: moderators)
Click on popup or hit tab to expand it

  • It’s not quite the same as you would need to include people manually.
  • Also, once someone is included they will always be able to see it (it should really only be for ‘current’ mods)
  • And I guess it’s not as organised/searchable as a section.

Having sections as I described works very well as an official means to get in touch with forum staff, it’s also the place where we move threads that are not permitted and leave an accompanying note.


So, I just want to revisit this. This is something that is for the ‘staff’ group only? We want members of another group counted as the people seeing whispers (these are not moderators/admins - but staff of our company) while keeping other moderator actions unavailable. Is that the thing you said wasn’t possible/extremely difficult?

It sounds like what you want in that case is group private messaging, as covered above.

What we are looking to reproduce is the ‘internal note’ system that Zendesk and other systems have. We’re interacting and leaving notes/drafts to be read by a large support team and potentially others in our company - these are notes that are specific to the thread and need to be in line and reviewable at any time in context.

The whisper feature sounds perfect except that we want to specify a group other than ‘staff’ as being tied to Discourse’s ‘staff’ group is very limiting and we don’t want to open up all of those features for everyone at our company.

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Maybe we can investigate a site setting for this

whisper group id or something like that.

Would that work for you? (not an easy change but doable)

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