"Sorry, you have no access to that topic!" after mod converts a topic into a personal message

Hi all, I am a moderator of a community page and lately whenever I make a topic a private message, the following thing I see is an error page showing “Sorry, you have no access to that topic!”.

As I said I’m a moderator, so I should be able to access said message. The topic I want to make a private message has usually one user only (i.e. the OP), so that should not be a problem either?

Any idea why this is happening?

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If you weren’t part of the topic before it was turned into a message you won’t have access. Only administrators can see message conversations they aren’t members of.

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If you need access to the PM you can ask the user to flag it. Moderators have access to flagged PMs while they are flagged.

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Sorry, what do you mean with “If you weren’t part of the topic”? The post I made into a DM was originally the first post in a public thread, so I did have access to it :thinking:

Sure, but if the message conversation it created didn’t include you (had no posts from you) then you wouldn’t have access. The conversation participants are determined by the posts included in the conversation at the point of conversion.

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Ok, I see - what confuses me though is that in the past I was able to make threads into DMs (even if I wasn’t part of them). I still have the conversations in my inbox.

I will test it again keeping your suggestions in mind to see if it happens again. Thanks!

Hey, I tried again and this time it worked (I was able to access the DM).

Some info:

  • The post was created 1 hour ago by a regular user (who also joined 1 hour ago)
  • I clicked on the tab on the right > Make Personal Message > the page reloaded and the post was made into a DM with me and the user, as expected

So there must be something else behind it - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

(If it helps, I have noticed that this might only happen when the user has posted twice in the same thread (i.e. two posts in a row), but I’m not 100% sure).

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Oh interesting, can you repro this @justindirose when acting as a moderator?

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Yep, was able to repro this.

Edit: I’ll try again :sweat_smile:

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I am unclear. What you wrote sounds correct to me, if the mod has no replies in the PM, they would not have access after conversion to PM. That is expected.

What is incorrect would be The mod having access even if the mod made no posts in that topic prior to it being converted to a PM. That would be unexpected.

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Ah! I inverted the logic here. I’ll see if I can get it to get access.

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I was able to reproduce this once by doing the following:

  1. Topic was created by an admin 4 days ago
  2. TL0 user replied and needed approval.
  3. Post was approved by moderator.
  4. When reply was 2 minutes old, the moderator made the topic a PM.
  5. Moderator was invited and given access to the topic.

It seems like this may partially be related to the editing grace period expiring or the approval of the post.

Thanks @Simon_Cossar for assisting me in repro’ing this.

That being said, the behavior here feels really inconsistent and unexpected to me.

If a topic has one post by one user, mod is given access to PM when converted.

If a topic has two posts by one or more users, mod is not given access (except for the possible bug case above).

Would it make more sense if a topic is made a PM by a mod to automatically give them access as they’re probably doing this for a reason?

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Interesting, so that’s the bug.

Wouldn’t they reply to the topic first if they needed that?

Possibly. The UX oddity in my mind is if I have permissions to make something a PM as a mod, I’m assuming I’m doing this for a reason, likely to continue a conversation privately even if I hadn’t replied. I’m confused then if I hit a “sorry, no can do!” message. Maybe I’m personally misunderstanding the original intent of this feature, too. Either way, the behavior needs to be consistent – either add or block the mod from the PM.

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Regardless, mods don’t normally have access to PMs, so automatically adding every mod to a PM that converts is a bit… much.

I think this might be your bug @techAPJ? Let’s fix the bug first:

That shouldn’t be happening.

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If a topic only has one user and a mod converts it to a PM, the topic’s OP will be the only participant in the PM if the mod isn’t added to it. The PM will end up in the OP’s sent messages list, but the OP won’t receive a notification telling them to look for it there.

The situation where I’ve had to convert public topics to PMs is when something gets posted publicly on the forum that should be dealt with internally. If mods are handling this kind of situation it makes sense that they get added to the PM. If mods shouldn’t get added to the PMs, maybe the Make Personal Message action shouldn’t be available to them.

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Ah yes, true.

Maybe when there’s only one post, you must add the mod to the PM so the current behavior is already correct? Perhaps there’s nothing necessary to do here @techAPJ.

One thing we could do is add a new PM convert prompt for mods, only when there is more than one post in the topic, that looks something like this:

If you don’t reply to this topic before you convert it to a PM, you won’t have access to it. Grant yourself access?

Yes, grant access No

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I think that prompt is reasonable. At least gives mods the option to continue a public topic privately with more than one person if needed.

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One small suggestion: that should be a tri-button box, with both “No, create” and “Cancel” options.

Hello!

Our moderators have this issue over at Infinite Flight Community as well. It seems to be super random as it is right now, and feature that enables the moderators to make a topic a PM right now is like asking the 8-ball how it’ll go :slight_smile:

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