Under the "Options" menu, under "Users", is the option "Who can view & post". This page controls who can view and post in this forum. But if this forum has a parent forum and if the parent forum has restrictions, then those restriction will also apply. This means that restrictions are only added as you go down your forum hierarchy. This makes sense because when you set restrictions, you assume that they will apply to all sub-forums as well.
Let's look at a few examples. Suppose you have a forum hierarchy and want to ban anonymous users throughout. You would go to the top forum and select that only registered users can create new topics and replies:
Now suppose that under the top forum, you have an "Official Business" forum where only members of a group should be allowed to post. You would select that only members can create new topics and replies:
You would then authorize the right members for that "Official Business" forum only.
Now suppose that under that forum, you have an "Announcements" forum where only the organizer should post. The organizer should create that forum and select again that only members can post and reply in that forum, but this time not authorize anyone else. Now only the owner of the "Announcements" forum is authorized to post there. But suppose you want to allow members to comment on announcements but not to make announcements. Then instead of members can create new topics, but let everyone reply. Note that "Everyone" means everyone who would otherwise be allowed to post. So now within the "Announcements" forum, only the owner can create threads, but all members can reply to those threads.
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