Notify Feature can be easily abused

Are there any DIY ways to fix this?

Because I am concerned this could become a bigger issues if I don’t try to resolve it as soon as possible, at the moment nobody from my community has discovered this, but it just takes one troll to make this such a massive issue.

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If I’m not mistaken you could remove the share button from the post menu parameter (or at least hide it) https://your.domain/admin/site_settings/category/all_results?filter=share

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Hmmm, I don’t want to hide the entire thing, just the notify button.

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You could use a little CSS. Something like:

.btn-default.notify.btn {
    display: none;
}

(Though that will hide the share topic one too. You should be able to make it more specific if you need it)

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Yeh, I guess this could be a temp fix, it’s a useful feature, so loosing it wouldn’t be fun.

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For topics, that has always existed at the bottom of the page. It’s not a new feature and has mostly gone unused since its inception (until now).

All of this might by my fault though. I recently endorsed (and bumped) a topic requesting that the “Notify” feature be expanded to replies too.

Oops? :sweat_smile:


Regardless, I agree that site admins should have more control over it. I’m just worried that it could seriously impact the ability to notify multiple users in one batch.

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I do support this, @codinghorror how do these numbers sound for defaults:

TL0: zero
TL1: 6 notifications max 2 notifications per user
TL2: double
TL3: double again

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It’s also worth mentioning that you can still notify users when logged out.

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Yikes… that should certainly be disabled.

It is an error now:

Should be removed from the UI.

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Well, it was sort of a false alarm. It just spits out an error.

Edit: Yup, you beat me to it. Regardless, the button should definitely be removed. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done with the unified share dialog.

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I disagree. On a forum where I am TL3 if we find a user saying that they are under 13 (COPPA), we need to notify an admin so they can contact the user about it. And if no admins are online at that time there is less we can do about it.

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Yep that sounds good, surprised we missed this thank you @JammyDodger for pointing it out! We should backport as well…

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Thank you. :slightly_smiling_face: But I think the kudos goes to @jimmynewtron for discovering this one.

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Isn’t the “Flag” feature meant for this purpose?

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The idea is not that it should not be possible to notify users, who aren’t logged in. But someobe, who is not logged in should not see the notify button, since you are only allowed to notify, if you are logged in.

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I agree with @jimmynewtron that the “Flag” feature is much better for that purpose. If you want to include a response, just use the “Something Else” option.

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@dan worked on rate limiting invites, so maybe he has suggestions also on rate limiting the notify feature.

I also am on the fence about whether it is a worthwhile feature to have at all - as far as I know, it is rarely used and the emails it sends are a bit confusing and technical looking. I tried it recently to get a response from someone who was in a rush and just emailed back without reading the instructions in the email carefully, resulting in a bounced email which she then ignored because she was busy.

In this day and age I think it’s just as easy and more effective to just grab the link and paste it into an email or text or tweet or whatever. I feel this way about invites too.

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I see were your coming from, personally I still like the invite feature as it can come in handy when working with a large community for tracking invites.

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Sorry, to be clear I am not talking about getting rid of the invite system at all. I love the invite system! I just mean it is more effective to get the invite link and send it yourself rather than depending on Discourse to send an email.

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My apologies, got the complete wrong end of the stick there.

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