The system should warn you if you @mention someone who wouldn't be able to see it

(Joshua Frank) #1

On my site, we had a moderator who had inadvertently not been granted moderation rights. So people were @mention’ing him on posts in the Staff category, but he couldn’t see those posts. I’m not sure if he was notified by email or what he did see when viewing such a post, but since he didn’t have access to the whole category, it clearly wouldn’t work.

I have some other private categories, and this seems like the kind of thing that could easily get messed up. If you start to @mention someone, all users seem to appear in the list, even ones who don’t have access. I think it would be much safer to show the popup user list and include all users, but visually indicate in the list when a user doesn’t have access, so you’re forced to rethink what you’re doing (either grant access, or post somewhere else, or PM them).

(Theron Boerner) #2

FWIW this is how slack handles that issue.

Just a little inspiration.

(James Milligan) #3

And for more inspiration, here’s now Facebook does it with closed groups:

(Jeff Atwood) #5

Thanks for the examples, very helpful. The Slack approach is probably best, but for now if we could (eventually) show the users who do not have access greyed out, that’d be a good start.

(Joshua Frank) #6

I couldn’t tell from the screenshot, but does Slack wait until after you’ve posted to tell you about the problem? I like their UI, but better would be to know before you post, because you might not want or be able to add the user to the group, in which case the post might not make any sense and you’d PM instead. It’d be annoying to find that out only after you write and post the whole thing.

Can the user be greyed out with some explanatory text? Without the explanation, I suspect people will not figure out why they can’t click the user, and just think something’s broken.

(cpradio) #7

I just still want to be able to mention users who don’t have access. So far it is the quickest way to link to their profile without a lot of effort/work. :smile:

So whatever you do, don’t remove the ability all together.

(TechnoBear) #8

Does that work without alerting them? I hadn’t realised that.

(cpradio) #9

Confirmed, they do not get any notification :smile: Which is great, as it permits us to quickly link to them while having discussions.

I don’t mind being notified that they can’t see the mention, but I want to be able to mention them.

(Mittineague) #10

I think a simple strike-through could work and shouldn’t obscure the name too much in most cases.


(Jeff Atwood) #11

Why in the world would we alert a user who has no access to a private topic when you @name mention that user in said private topic?

(cpradio) #14

Again, I don’t think she expected it too, but wasn’t sure what the end result would be and thus didn’t try it. I’m also 100% certain she didn’t know about the bug in 2013 either. Purely didn’t want to take any risk, so didn’t ever attempt it.

I do look forward to better indicators though, I think that would be a welcomed improvement :smile:

(TechnoBear) #15

All of which is true.

Frankly, it had never occurred to me to do it until you mentioned it. I didn’t want an @mention showing up in the notifications menu, with an unclearable link to a 404 page. (As happens for mentions, likes, replies if the post is moved from a public to private area, or deleted.) And it was too late at night for clear thinking.

(Joshua Frank) #16

I think you should be able to mention the person, but be warned that the person herself can’t see the post, and that the person will not be notified about the mention. If you’re mentioning her for someone else’s benefit who can see the post, then sure.

(FichteFoll) #17

On facebook it is also shown to users reading a post that the mentioned one or the one who submitted the comment can not read it.

(Translation: “[User] can not see this post because he is not a member of [this group].”

(Skud) #18

I don’t know why you’d want to, but there are/have been some platforms which have done this. Google+, for instance, used to have a thing where you could invite people to a private conversation by @ mentioning them (or rather + mentioning them). You could even do this without the consent of the OP, which was pretty awful :-/

(Tobias Eigen) #19

I just came across this issue while setting up groups that can be mentioned and it then ‘explodes’ to mention all the people in the group. It is not indicated which are not going to be notified, both while posting for the author of the post and later by others reading it who might think the person has been notified and will be joining the discussion.

Unless this is such low priority that we have to learn to live with it - which is fine - this seems to be the best solution: