Block Private Messages from Other Users?


(Bcguy) #1

Is it possible for users to block PMs from other users? I’ve had this request from a user.


(Jeff Atwood) #2

Not yet, but this is something we’ve talked about adding for a long time.

In the meantime, for now, I suggest a moderator/admin asking the user to stop PMing that user – if they don’t, they will be suspended.


(Bcguy) #3

No hurry - this is the first request for this. Your suggested work around is fine.


(Jeff Atwood) #4

There was a second request for this recently at discourse.soylent.me. I am honestly surprised it has not come up more often.


(Brad Huber) #5

Make it a third request. :slight_smile:


(Jeff Atwood) #6

Based on an actual situation, or vague inchoate desires spoken to you by dream whisperers?


(Brad Huber) #7

We’ve only been officially open for a day (discourse is replacing a 100k user home-rolled text-only mini-forum) and we’ve already had issues with some users harassing others through PM. Not in any threatening kind of way, but just being jerks. There are some “unique” and “dynamic” personalities that have developed on the old forums over the last 4 years, to say the least.

Ideally a “Private Messages - Blocked Users” option would be the best way to let people self-regulate this. We obviously have moderators to put a stop to this behavior on the public topics, but I dont know if we want to get involved in having to moderate private messages as well.

Though dream whisperers do sound nice.


(cpradio) #8

Not to go too “right field” but a “mute user” setting would be ideal. It would allow you to mute them in topics and PMs. You’ll find this feature in a lot of existing forum software. I know several users on the forum I moderate that use this feature extensively.


(Sam Saffron) #9

I think there are a few approaches you can take without amending the software.

  1. Educate users, have them flag problem PMs and instate a 3 warning system, if you get 3 warning for harassing users you are put in the box for a week
  2. Post a meta discussion on your form explaining the problem and discuss with your community.
  3. The atomic solution of raising PM to trust level 2.

(Sam Saffron) #10

With mute comes follow, I reckon we will get to it eventually.


(cpradio) #11

And please keep it a low priority. I feel that a lot of users misuse/abuse it and rather force them to re-think their strategies a bit before they are allowed to just mute users again. :smile:

I strongly feel there is a need for it, but I’m in no rush for it.


(Jeff Atwood) #12

The only place I support user mute is eventually on PMs.

And even then: teach users to flag first just like any other post because flagging is fundamental everywhere, work with the problem users to see if they can be rehabilitated, use the Discourse guidelines and/or post your own meta topics to address the behavior within your community, etc.

So much of this becomes “I will just send my child away to military school, there, problem solved”. When in reality problem is VERY MUCH NOT solved and actually made worse…


(cpradio) #13

But aren’t PMs simply topics with a limited focus? So trying to apply your change to just those would be segmenting your code base and harder to support. By just allowing mute users, you simplify that logic (or at least in theory you do).


(Jeff Atwood) #14

Totally different concept. I mean prevent other people from ever sending you PMs.

The equivalent in a topic doesn’t really exist, since topics are public, and PMs are private. You don’t “send” a topic to anyone, it just exists in public. Things in public cannot be made to disappear, that’s an illusion, whereas if you prevent someone from sending you a PM you stop it from ever existing in the first place.

No relationship at all between these concepts.


(cpradio) #15

I guess I don’t really see the difference, per se, in both cases the user is limiting who they interact with. If that means it hides that user’s topics/posts too, then it would work like it does in existing forums.

I’m really not for one and against the other (sort of playing devil’s advocate here, since I know topics and PMs are technically the same thing to Discourse just with different focuses).

If they were entirely separate entities, then I probably wouldn’t have suggested it the way I did, as I’ve seen code that trying to take one entity and make it behave differently versus someone just coming in and making it a truly separate entity. The support you have to provide between the two are night and day.


(Jeff Atwood) #16

The difference is simple:

  1. Something doesn’t exist, because we stop it from existing. (Block any PMs from being created to you from the “muted” user)

  2. Something exists, and we pretend to hide it from you. (Hide a public topic from the “muted” user)

#1 is easy and clear and straightforward. #2 is hellishly complex and error prone.


(cpradio) #17

Same rendering process isn’t used for both? I’d personally primarily focusing on hiding the posts (replies) from users if you mute them, versus topics on the topic lists, suggested topics, etc. I’d have to play with this feature to see how far it goes in the current forum, I think it does hide topics on the topic list, but I can’t quite recall.

I can also careless if muted users come to reality, I just know we’ll have users who desperately want it and won’t drop it (seriously they won’t, because they literally have hundreds of users muted in the current forum).


(system) #18

(Kenny DuBose) #19

I had a User request this feature this week.


(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #20

We do have this feature now:

image