Re: Restrict Topic Replies to Topic Owner only

I’m continuing the discussion at Restrict Topic Replies to Topic Owner only .

The following is only about interacting with a Discourse forum via email.

Email and forums have different conventions. When someone replies to an email, they expect it to go just to the person being replied to. When someone replies-all to an email, they expect it to go to the whole forum / mailing list.

I’d really like to see the option where an email “reply” just sends a private message to the person being replied to, whereas “reply-all” adds the post to the topic.


Some context: a user wrote to me about getting too much email. They were pretty angry when their “private” complaint got emailed to the entire forum / mailing list.

As a temporary measure you could add to the message “Visit Topic or reply to this email to respond” the words “to the whole forum” :slight_smile:

Can the email format be changed much? Could you put a prominent button in the email eg “PM this user”?

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Those are good ideas to implement in the meanwhile. I’ll look into them!

For one community I wrote a plugin that adds the user’s actual email address to the message so that they can email them directly. Since your users seem to want a 1990s era mailing list, that might be what you want to do.

I think that it’s also possible to include a button that will let them compose a PM in a web browser.

EDIT: but maybe this is what you want:

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Thanks for the suggestion.

Yes, we’ve recently migrated from a mailing list from the 1990s. Ironically, the previous mailing list also had “reply” go to the entire mailing list, so they are requesting a change in behavior.

Users can have some peculiar requests. In this case, I agree with the user that Discourse should follow email conventions when interacting via email. I made a similar feature request to Discourse Meta for stripping “Fwd:” when creating a topic based on a forwarded message: users won’t - and shouldn’t have to - break email convention when forwarding an email to the forum.

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