Users unable to add others to a personal message

Here is one that I just created at TPM,

I just tried it sending you a message and here is what I get here.

Now I may not be at TL2 here, but I am at TL3 at TPM (a mod put me there for testing)

So when I am the sender, I cannot remove myself - which makes sense - , or anyone else either, when I am a receiver, I can remove myself only, but the option to add others via the “+” button is not present at TPM…

1 Like

Here’s what I found:

  • TL2+ users are able to add other users to PMs whether they are the topic starter or the recipient
  • TL1 PM creators cannot add or remove users.
  • TL1 PM recipients can remove themselves, but not add any new users.

According to our Trust Level breakdown, the above behavior seems correct (emphasis added):

@laughingriver the best thing to do would be to get the site updated. After that we can try to figure out any other factors that might be coming into play.


Speaking of, one thing we might want to do @sam is add some sort of the following:

  • start a “closed” PM that nobody can add or remove people to (except staff I guess)
  • only the PM owner can add or remove people to a PM (except staff I guess)

I think this is much more useful than toying with TL2/TL3 here.


Ok, if it is a stie update issue then that could be a long way off given how frequent they do them at TPM.

Those trust level settings were published before they upgraded to the 2.3.0 release so I had thought they were in effect for a few releases…


On our site we have “Enable personal messages” turned off because we must prevent adults from sending messages to youth without a parent or another adult copied. We do use personal messages to communicate between moderators and users.

The problem we have is when we click “Add or Remove” on an existing message, we can only remove receipients, we cannot add new ones. Is there another setting we need to set or is adding (even by moderators and admins) disabled because we have Enable personal messages turned off?

Thanks for the help.


I was looking into a similar issue earlier today: Unable to add user to PM topic. In that case, the issue I’m finding is that regular users cannot invite users to a PM if the max invites per day setting is 0. For your case, it is the enable personal messages site setting that is probably the cause of the issue. When that setting is disabled, only admins can add users to an existing PM. Moderators cannot add users to a PM when enable personal messages is disabled.

Are you able to double check to see if admins are able to add users to PMs on your site? For this to work, the admin will have to be the user who initiates the personal message.

I am fairly certain that this behaviour is intentional, because it is written explicitly into the code. I’m not sure what the thinking is behind preventing moderators from adding users to a PM when the enable personal messages site setting is disabled. Possibly this is something that could be changed.

I’ll leave a note for our developers here, in case anyone wants to look at it. The issue is occurring here:


I tested creating a new PM and adding a user from my admin account. This worked.

It would be nice if moderators could add users to a private message since they can originate messages when enable personal messages is disabled.


Has any thought been given to add an option (or just remove the restriction) to allow staff to add users to private messages they originated when enable personal messages is disabled?


Hey, all.

We started experiencing issues with this after an update a few weeks ago. Users can remove other participants in a PM they own but are no longer able to add any users:


The invite permissions are set to anyone with TL2 (which my test user has) and “enable personal messages” is turned on. Max invites per day are set to 10. I haven’t yet found another reason why this would be an issue.

Any thoughts? Thanks!


I am also seeing this behavior with latest commits :cry:


Can we repro any problems here @tshenry ?


A post was split to a new topic: Why are invites tied so closely to private messages?

I got around to digging into this a little today, but am unable to reproduce the mentioned behavior. I attempted three messaging scenarios using the settings mention (PMs enabled and TL2 can invite up to 10 times a day):

  1. Admin → TL2 :white_check_mark:
  2. TL2 → Admin :white_check_mark:
  3. TL2 → TL2 :white_check_mark:

I tried to see if subsequent replies would break the ability to add new users, but interestingly all of the above scenarios showed me an “Add” option for both the owner and participant. If anything, I feel like it’s a little too lax right now.

The only time I could get a “Remove” button with no “Add” option was when I was a TL1 participant of a PM someone else had started. I was able to remove myself, but could not add or remove others.

@sdpiowa @diakopter are you still seeing this issue? If so, can you see if you can nail down some detailed reproduction steps for me to try out?


Yes, I will study the TL of the people involved and the settings. I believe all the accounts are TL2, but I have changed some minimum TL settings for certain things. I will get back to you soon.



On our forum (hosted by Discourse), we’re also seeing the same issue. Our site has “invites” (for users to allow to send invites to non-users via email) disabled, and personal messages now only show a “Remove…” button (for non-admin users). Briefly looking at the code linked here

it would be my guess that there is no dedicated code (function/branch) to test whether a user has the permission to invite others to an existing personal message. Maybe this “test” was originally handled incidentally one way, and after a recent update the behavior changed, but unintentionally (as a a side effect)? It would be great if this could be promulgated into its own proper settings on the admin dashboard (“Allow thread starters to add users to existing personal message thread?” and “Allow any participant to add users to existing personal message thread?”)…


Does the above info help @tshenry ?


It might! I have not had a chance to dig in again yet. I will bump this up in priority and try to get to it tomorrow.


Have you made any progress on this? I’ve just updated to latest, but the behaviour seems the same.

From my perspective it is all about the interaction between must approve users and inviting an external person vs an existing user on PMs.


Sorry about the silence, we’ve affected an engineer on the problem. It will be fixed shortly.


I think invite to topic (existing users) and forum (new users) are two different things and should be handled accordingly. I opened a PR to change this: