PMs sent to members who flag posts

(TechnoBear) #1

If a member flags a post for moderator attention, a PM is sent to them, showing the message they used when flagging. They can’t reply to this (unless they want to talk to themselves), nor can they delete it.

As an ordinary member, I think I would soon become irritated at my message box filling up with such useless messages, and be tempted to stop reporting. Is there any way these messages can be suppressed?

(Jeff Atwood) #2

I don’t think this is correct? Never heard any reports of it before, and have never experienced it across dozens of Discourse instances.

If you flag a post for moderator attention, the text of what you type is sent to the moderators as a PM.

Are you in some strange testing mode where the user flagging for moderator attention is themselves also a moderator?


I can’t comment on the details of this, but I can confirm that the account in the screen shots is not a mod

(Jeff Atwood) #4

Can you give me a set of steps to reproduce this? Flagging for moderator attention PMs are sent to the moderators, not to the users themselves.

(TechnoBear) #5

The user SuperTed is not a moderator. He flagged a post as needing moderator attention because of a fake signature, and a PM was sent to him. It wasn’t a one-off glitch; flagging a post just now has also sent him a PM:

It doesn’t occur with flagging for any other reason, only with flagging for moderator attention, as far as I’m aware.

I was first alerted to the problem by a post from one of our Mentors:

(Luke S) #6

I can confirm here on meta. Please impersonate my account to see this live. As @technobear states, PM created by me, sent to me.

EDIT: Taking a closer look, it appears that this PM has no recipients other than me? I would expect that the intended use was that Moderators should be included as well, so that if they need to ask me further questions about my flag, they simply reply. Or was this a rough attempt to allow users to have a record of the flags they have thrown?

(Jeff Atwood) #7

I see – I think this is a misunderstanding.

The PM was not “sent” to the user. The user has a reference to the PM topic they created.

In other words, when you send a PM, you have a record of all PMs you’ve sent.

It is a little unclear because the PM does not show the recipients properly at the moment, so when you enter the PM topic, it “looks” like the PM was directed only at the user. Here’s what it should look like:

as it was directed to all moderators.

@sam that might indeed be a bug – could definitely lead to user confusion.

Also @zogstrip is adding a users column to the PM display this week which should help as well. Not sure how to visually represent “this was sent to the moderators group” though.

(TechnoBear) #8

OK, thanks. I agree that was a misunderstanding on my part, as I’m used to regarding flagging a post and sending a PM as two distinct activities. However,

(a) I don’t think it’s clear to members that they are sending a PM when they flag for moderator attention. It doesn’t happen when flagging for other reasons, and the impression (at least, from my point of view) is that they are simply adding a reason to a flag, not sending a PM to anybody. And in most instances, I imagine the moderator will simply look at the report on the flag screen and never open the PM at all. (Choosing the “Notify member” option is different; it’s clear in that case that you want and intend to start a dialogue with the specified member.)

(b) The original issue remains, that the member who made the report is stuck with a copy of it, which is of no use to them, and which they can’t delete.

(Jeff Atwood) #9

This was definitely a legit problem that would lead to user confusion (and technically a regression). Here’s how a moderator notify PM looks now after @zogstrip worked on it:

Deleting PMs is a bit problematic since you would be deleting the PM for all recipients. Think of PMs as topics, since that’s what they are under the hood…


Agreed. It’s not like vB where you have a limit to the number you can keep.

Thanks for the fix.

(Jeff Atwood) #11

When you select “notify moderators” or “notify {username}” the button does say private message. I added the flag and envelope glyphs to the action button on the flag dialog to make this more clear:

(Jeff Atwood) #12