Why are weekly summary emails on by default?

Why are weekly summary emails sent out as the default setting?
Why, when users are never even asked?!

The assumption that just because a user signs up for a forum means they want to be kept updated weekly seems very unfounded to me.


I believe you are referring to the digest emails. You can choose your default frequency under Settings > User Preferences > Default Email Digest Frequency:


Note that this weekly summary email is only sent if the user never touches the website for an entire week, and it’s capped at 52 weeks total – if the user never returns to the website again.

On top of that, unsubscribing is as easy as literally one click, included at the footer of each of the digests.


I still think that the assumption is unfounded that every user who signs up to some message board is continuously interested in the activity there.

In fact I think that a lot of users sign up because they have some question and then maybe come back but many probably won’t (until they have another question). Certainly not weekly.

I think the default setting should be off; no weekly emails.

It’s odd to me that an open source tool used by many open source projects behaves like some startup trying to improve its “metrics”.

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Every discussion community needs regulars to survive, so one mail per week reminding fully absent users of the most interesting discussions – capped at 52 weeks – doesn’t seem unreasonable to me. If it is unreasonable to you, perhaps you should found your own open source discussion project and build it to your liking?

Feel free to change that setting on your instance.