Can Personal Messages be disabled for an individual user?

Personal messages have a place in the forums I work with, so turning them off for all users isn’t the thing.

Which leads me to ask: Is it possible to disable personal messages for a single/individual user (who has abused the privilege) without turning off personal messages for all users?

I understand that admin’s can view personal messages (fantastic safety feature that lets us admin types see when misbehaviour happens), but if you discover one user that has been using the function to bully other users or a silenced user who used PMs to continue whatever misbehaviour got them silenced, can you revoke their access to the Personal Messaging system?


One way you can do this:

  1. Tell the user he/she is abusing the PM feature and they have to stop that behavior or they will lose the ability to send PMs. The next time they do it, go to step 2.
  2. Change the setting for min trust to send massages to TL2, then
  3. Change that user’s TL to 1… and lock it.
  • Note: This may not work depending upon how many users you have in TL1 and are using PMs properly. If they’re only a few you could manually grant them TL2.
  1. If all else fails, temporarily suspend the user. Once the suspension is over, if the user goes back to abusing PMs again, ban the user. But it’s always best to give a warning to allow the person to mend their ways. If they don’t, they already know why something is happening to them.

As a thought… I’m wondering… if a suspended user has mailing list enabled, would they still receive the emails and be able to reply by email if they are suspended? :thinking: You wouldn’t want to give them a “back door” to the forum.


Communicating moderation decisions is my jam (it’s the life of a CM) - and totally what I teach all my clients. So that isn’t going to be an issue :wink:

I’m just looking for a way to setup the system to allow the moderation team to lock a user out of PMs if the user misbehaves.

Basically, I’ll do the setup, but I also need to be able to teach the tool to moderators who aren’t professional community managers.

if there isn’t a specific tool (or plugin - and I couldn’t find one when I searched), then Trust Levels will be what we use.

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Just be aware that because that is in the settings, a mod won’t have access to that. They’d have to contact an admin to make those changes.

Heading off to :yawning_face:. Good luck.

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In the overall team, we have a set of moderators, and a set of admins on the forum that made me head here to enquire. They all act under the general banner of “XXX forum moderators”. So I think we’ll be covered :+1:


Sort of, users can opt out of PMs via their user preferences – have a look under Preferences → Notifications:


Allow other users to send me personal messages

But this has to do with receiving PMs, not sending them. There is no way to disable sending PMs for a particular user. The trust level lock that @JimPas described is one workaround though. New users at trust level zero do not have the privilege to send PMs.


Thanks - but the important part of my questions was “who has abused the privilege”. I was looking for a fix similar to the “silence a user” feature, but applied to Private Messages.

I’ll probably end up using the trust levels as a work around.