Sending automatic replies to private messages for a specific user



For a specific user on my Discourse installation, I would like to be able to send automatic replies to any private messages that user receives.

Is there any way to do so?

Thanks in advance,


Is it a user who’s account you control? If yes then you could try setting it to mailing list mode and set up a mail autoresponder that would respond to PMs by email.


Thanks for your reply @HAWK.

Yes it is. I tried this though, defining a filter with the destination e-mail address and the words “[PM]” in the e-mail in GMail but GMail never fired the autoresponder.

Is there no way to do this directly in Discourse?


Damn, that’s annoying! @jomaxro might be able to help. He does lots of Gmail–Discourse wrangling.

There is not.

(Joshua Rosenfeld) #6

Sadly I cannot help. This is a very similar situation to one I previously attempted to fix via Gmail, but there’s no easy fix. Mail from Discourse has a “mailing list” header, as the email is auto-generated. As one of our engineers explained to me when I asked why:

Because they’re not human-generated. Good mail handling hygiene dictates that you not send autoreplies to machine-generated e-mails, because that is how mail loops form (machine A sends a notification to machine B, machine B sends autoreply to machine A, machine A sends autoreply to machine B, and so on).

To resolve this you’d need to either A) create a Discourse Plugin that can handle this or B) create your own autoresponder service and hook it up to this user. If you choose to do either, be careful to avoid creating a mail loop.


Thanks @jomaxro for taking the time to reply to this.

I understand there’s no real solution for it and if I get some time I might have a try in developing a plugin for it. Maybe it could be a feature request for a future version of Discourse ?