When the ts.show_empty_groups user preference is being queried by the platform, the returned record is not the one belongs to the logged in user, but the first one which is returned from the database, which is causing an unexpected behavior.
Steps to Reproduce
1. Confirm some users in sys_user_preference table have the 'ts.show_empty_groups' = false
2. Log into the same instance with an user who does NOT have set the 'ts.show_empty_groups' = false.
3. Do a global search.
Expected behavior: Search groups with no results should be shown
Actual results: Search groups with no results are not shown
* If you the issue is not reproduced, then impersonate a user that has the system preference and repeat steps. Now the Expected / Actual results should be reversed.
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As a workaround, delete any individual user preferences on 'sys_user_preference_list.do' with the property ts.show_empty_groups = false
Related Problem: PRB1378190