Access controlled categories allow you to create private conversation spaces in your community. Even if your community is open to the public, there may be scenarios where you want to restrict some conversations to a select subset of your community members. Access controlled categories are designed with these scenarios in mind. We leverage the organizational convenience of categories with the power of access control lists to accomplish this.
Rather than making the access control mechanism an attribute of each individual conversation, we chose to add access control to categories. This way, when a conversation is associated with a restricted category, it is only visible to users on that category’s access control list. Since a single conversation may be associated with more than one category, the overlapping access control rules on each category provide a lot of flexibility in the privilege levels that determine conversation visibility.
Access controlled categories do not currently come with all plans and may be an additional cost for your community. You can learn more about this feature by reading the Help articles: Creating a Category, Access Controlled Categories, and Applying Access Control to a Category.