"personal message enabled groups" is confusingly titled

Not sure if this is the best category for this topic.

I didn’t see any one else post about this, but I just want to say I think the SIteSetting personal message enabled groups is confusingly labelled.

  • Discourse has a global option personal message enabled groups , which is the minimum trust level a user needs to be before they can create direct messages
  • Users have a separate option (checkbox) to send or receive direct messages, user_option.allow_private_messages

What we desire is all non-staff/moderators/admins to NOT be able to send messages to users in trust_level_1 , which hopefully would be accomplished by setting personal_message_enabled_groups to trust_level_2. But it appears the two options above are treated separately, and the user option takes precedence. i.e., a user in trust_level_1 certainly can’t INITIATE DMs, but if allow_private_messages is enabled, the value can_send_private_message_to_user is true.

Since the global option doesn’t override the checkbox, it seems inaccurate to say personal message enabled groups, as a user not in the group set by this value is still enabled to be in a PM (they just can’t start one). I can see the desire to still have the user option override this SiteSetting, so I think this setting could be named something else, possibly personal message initiating groups?


I understand how this can be confusing, but I think from reading this you are after a different new setting that will handle this use case. It would be called something like disallow_personal_message_groups, and any users in the selected groups will not be able to receive PMs from anyone but staff (moderators and admins).

The personal_message_enabled_groups setting is not intended to be used as a block list. It’s a bit of a conundrum; maybe we could change the existing behaviour so people who are not in personal_message_enabled_groups cannot be messaged by anyone but staff either? I am not sure how many expectations this would break.

I will leave @tobiaseigen to weigh in as well.


Thank you for your input. I am just presencing that personal_message_enabled_groups implies that the checkbox being unmarked means personal_message_DISABLED_groups, which is not actually true.

I appreciate the active community here and Discourse itself. Thank you!