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I have bbpress-post-topics plugin installed so that my comments forms are replaced by a bbpress forum topic, it's working but I would like to enable anonymous posting.

how do i remove the fields so users can post anonymously?

Currently, as you can see above, the Author Name, Email, Website and Topic Title are required. I would like to adjust this so only the 'topic title' is required and if they are not logged in, their posts are attributed to a user called 'anonymous'

I can edit the PHP if required - I really thought the setting in Forums for 'Allow guest users without accounts to create topics and replies' would have achieved what I'm aiming for.

Note: This problem exists in the traditional forums too, e.g.


You can see the author name/email are required fields.

How do I remove them as required fields so users can really post anonymously without creating an account?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

When we post an empty anonymous reply, we get the following errors:


The part of BBPress that's responsible for handling this, is the bbp_new_reply_handler() function, in the file /bbpress/includes/replies/functions.php. It contains these lines that are of interest to us:

    // User is anonymous
    if ( bbp_is_anonymous() ) {

            // Filter anonymous data
            $anonymous_data = bbp_filter_anonymous_post_data();

where bbp_filter_anonymous_post_data() is defined in the file /bbpress/includes/replies/functions.php.

Here's a demo plugin that should

  • allow you to post a reply with empty names and emails.
  • still keep the flood checks per IP number.
  • not write cookies, that will pre fill the name and the email textbox.
  • give you Anonymous as the replier's name.


 * Plugin Name: Empty Anonymous Replies in BBPress
 * Plugin URI: http://wordpress.stackexchange.com/a/133420/26350

add_action( 'init', array( 'WPSE_Empty_Anonymous_Replies', 'init' ) );

class WPSE_Empty_Anonymous_Replies
        static protected $name  = 'nobody';
        static protected $email = 'nobody@example.com';

        static public function init()
            add_filter( 'bbp_filter_anonymous_post_data', 
                         array( __CLASS__, 'bbp_filter_anonymous_post_data' ),                    
                         11, 2 );
            add_filter( 'bbp_pre_anonymous_post_author_name', 
                         array( __CLASS__,  'bbp_pre_anonymous_post_author_name' ) );
            add_filter( 'bbp_pre_anonymous_post_author_email',  
                         array( __CLASS__, 'bbp_pre_anonymous_post_author_email' ) );

        static public function bbp_filter_anonymous_post_data( $retval, $r )
            if( self::$name === $r['bbp_anonymous_name'] 
                && self::$email === $r['bbp_anonymous_email'] )
                // reset the input to skip writing cookies 
                $retval = array();

                // trick to activate the IP flood check 
                $retval['bbp_anonymous_flood_check'] = '1';
            return $retval;

        static public function bbp_pre_anonymous_post_author_name( $name )
            remove_filter( current_filter(), array( __CLASS__, __FUNCTION__ ) );
            if( empty( $name ) )
                $name = self::$name;

            return $name;

        static public function bbp_pre_anonymous_post_author_email( $email )
            remove_filter( current_filter(), array( __CLASS__, __FUNCTION__ ) );
            if( empty( $email ) )
                $email = self::$email;

            return $email;

I hope this can point you in the right direction.

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So where do we put this code, some might ask?: This is a plugin, so we can create a file like /wp-content/plugins/empty-anonymous-replies-in-bbpress/empty-anonymous-replies-‌​in-bbpress.php. Then we visit the plugin section in the backend and activate it. This code should also work from the functions.php file in the current theme directory. I hope this helps the users, that aren't sure what to do with this code. –  birgire Jun 10 at 22:34

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