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Summary: two topics were created with the same name, but different ParentIDs. I can only select one of the topics when publishing an article.

We have a large number of topics such as "System Status" & "News & Release Notes". When we publish Knowledge Articles containing these topics, emails get sent out to all people following said topics containing the body of the article.

Recently while working a developer, we pushed some changes to our customer-facing Community page (the page customers see when they login.) Not much, just some graphical changes.

Since then, whenever we go to select a topic for our articles and then proceed to publish the article, no customers get emailed. After doing some digging we found that the topics they were choosing have a different ParentID than they did before. So if we query the EntitySubscription table, all the people who are subscribed to a topic, such as "News & Release Notes" are subscribed to the old ParentID. Yet, we can only choose (and find) the new ParentID when choosing a topic for our articles. If, I, for example, search for "Release Notes" and open the topic, there is only one topic, and its ParentID is different than the one that all of our customers are subscribed to.

I don't know how this happened, but I need to get our Topics updated so that I can choose the old Parent ID topics when choosing a topic for our Knowledge Articles.

Attached is a screenshot which hopefully clarifies things. enter image description here

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You will have different ParentIds for Topics that are internally available vs those Topics that are in the Communities. When you add Topics to Articles internally, they're only visible for internal users. (You would also find these under Chatter > Topics for users that are following them.) For example, if you had two communities, you could have the exact same Topic name with three different ParentIds, however the NetworkId (query this from the Topic object) would be blank for internally available Topics, and NetworkId would have the unique Community Org Id for the two Communities.

The simple but tedious answer is to add the Articles to those same Topics from within the Community. To get this you need to go to the Community > Workspaces (if enabled) Content Targeting > Topic Management (just to confirm the Topics you're looking for are there) > Article Management and then add the Articles to those Topics. If you don't have Workspaces enabled, I think the previous way was: Community Management > Topics > Navigational Topics > Add Articles to Topics

Also, if you're using Workspaces you may want to consider Automatic Topic Assignment.

The other unlikely scenarios are to check Setup > Email Administration > Deliverability > Access level is not set to No Access or System Email only. Then from the Community > Administration > Emails confirm the From Name and Email Address is set. Next move to the Community Builder and check the "Follow" button on the Topic and Article Detail pages and confirm that "Allow email notifications on topics" is enabled. And Lastly is to check the Community Users' email notifications by querying the NetworkMember object.

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