Hiding profile removes message button from user cards

When using the Hide my public profile and presence features profile setting, the user cards show like this:


There’s no Message button. The setting doesn’t prevent the account from being messaged. Is the missing button intended? Seems to make it unnecessarily harder to reach the person. Plus, it could help balance a bit all that white space.


Double-check your notifications preference for Allow other users to send me personal messages; that may be toggled in a way to remove the message button.

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That would make sense, but the button disappears even when the option to allow messages is enabled.

Setting the Hide my public profile and presence features seems to always remove the Message button from the user cards, regardless of whether the user can be messaged.

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Maybe? How do you feel about this @awesomerobot?

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An example use case: we have some users who are not too happy to have all their account metrics made public (eg: recent reading time, etc) — they feel this is a privacy issue in Discourse that discourages their use of the forum. They would however be happy with the solution of using the Hide my public profile and presence features setting, except it makes it harder for them to be messaged — something they would like to not change. The user card is the easiest way for that and not everyone will figure out the other ways to do it.

I can’t think of a reason why this setting is hiding also the message button from the User card since that depends on a separate setting — it seems that the message button may have been forgotten at some point. Would this be better under bug instead of ux?


Sounds like you need to customize your CSS to hide the elements you wish to hide that are specific to your site?

I have considered this, but hiding it away with CSS doesn’t really address privacy concerns, there are multiple places where the information can show and it is a brittle solution that may break with future updates.

These users are actually OK with the private profile option (plus it covers all sorts of different privacy concerns that vary from person to person); the only roadblock is that it makes it harder to send messages as it is.

Regardless of our particular use case, shouldn’t the Message button be in the user cards anyhow, if messages are not disabled?


We have a few communities as well where people are very privacy aware and hide their profiles, but don’t realize this removes the message button as well. Apart from not being a very logical side effect, these people DO want other users to be able to message them. This is then only possible by entering their handle in a PM manually.

Was this done on purpose? (And if so, what does it try to accomplish?)


Hopefully they don’t discover that you can currently see these metrics through the user list, even if your profile is hidden :wink:

I do agree that the message button appearing when the profile is hidden would be a great improvement :+1:

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I would think if you make your profile private, you are choosing to hide public info about yourself, and implicitly discouraging people from randomly messaging you. So the behavior seems consistent to me.

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One does not necessarily imply the other. I have no interest in sharing some of my private data with FB or even my friends there, but I still want people to reach me easily there if they want. Reachability is not the same as privacy. In Discourse there’s a different setting to disable messages for those that really don’t want to be messaged.

The feedback we have received about Discourse on our end has been the same: many of those that prefer to have a private profile still want to be reachable easily and have complained about the missing button.