Private Messaging turned off?

Did something change with the private messaging? I used to be able to send PM’s, but now I cannot do so. I know that for the most part, we want to keep questions in the open so that everyone can benefit, but occasionally people need to send potentially sensitive information to others that they don’t want on a google search. Also, it’s possible that people want to engage in business transactions, and that shouldn’t happen in the forum context either, so sharing contact information is something else that people don’t really want to show up on google. Maybe this would be a good conversation to have about how PM’s should be handled on this site.

(I don’t have any current need to message anyone, I just notice posts where people are frustrated because they can’t contact other privately.)

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Hi Brandon,
They are not turned off however a quick glance at the settings it appears we set it to a minimum Trust Level of 3 to initiate a PM. (Trust level is earned by participating in the forum automatically with certain criteria… I can’t remember what)

I can certainly turn it back down if we think it necessary. Once of the reasons we had it set high is because we had a few instances of people approaching others in PM soliciting. We also want to keep most of the conversation public to benefit everyone. But I do understand the need to share private contact information as needed.
I certainly don’t have a problem turning it down if that’s the general consensus. Just note that once we do this we (the moderators) have no way to know if you are being solicited or harassed or approach by consultants or others via PM.
What does everyone think?

  • Open PM’s for Everyone ( this has the risk of some people misbehaving and some of the conversations may not be as useful if they are taken privately. On the upside everyone could share private information as needed)
  • Lower trust level requirement for PMs to level 2 (most people who use the forum frequently can easily achieve trust level 2, this would require them to be an established member of the community before gaining access to this feature)
  • Keep it as is (the conversation should be public so everyone can benefit)

0 voters

I definitely agree that this should not be happening. Maybe we can come up with some ideas that would help with this while not making it too difficult to pm? Also, are there other reasons that PM’s can be problematic that we could look for solutions for?

Off the top of my head,

  1. Is there any way to report inappropriate pm’s, with stiff consequences for people that violate policies?
  2. Like you stated, lower the trust level to 2. (it looks like I must bounce back and forth between 2 and 3, and I think I’m pretty active, there are only 15 people on the site with the regular badge right now, so it seems like it’s pretty limited.)

Any other ideas?


Yeah you can report the PM (Flag it) and we’ll be alerted. But we can’t actively monitor it like we do posts.
The requirements for Level 3 I posted above. (That’s the default built in , we can change it)
But maybe moving it to level 2 is the easiest solution while still limiting brand new people from abuse. I’ll give the poll a day or so for others to chime in and then if the consensus is still to lower it I have no issues with that.

@rbucek @jgiese.wci any concerns?

I assume the “Topics Viewed Cap” is to filter out bots that create an account an then just work through every topic. But setting it at 500 seems a bit low.

According to my profile, i have 1.0K topics viewed. Does this prevent me from reaching TL3 status?

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I don’t think so… but I’m not certain. I doubt it though

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What’s the TL3 time period?

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I think that means how long you have to meet all the requirements… In the last 100 days you need X, Y, Z

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So TL3 is set to 100? or did you just use that as an example number?


That is set to 100 by default we havne’t touched any of the trust stuff.

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You meet all the requirements except likes given. You are 17 out of 30…

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I don’t see likes on that list… OK I’ll start liking more stuff…

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Does one lose TL3 status if they don’t keep up?

Say you have TL3 status, and your 30th like ago, was 99 days ago. If you don’t add any more likes, and that 30th like turns out to be 101 days old, is TL3 revoked (because you only have 29 likes in the last 100 days)?

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Yes, I used to have the regular badge, and now I don’t (the regular badge is level 3)

Yes you lose the status after a certain period.

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Here are all the requirements / info about trust level. Ours is all default.

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“of topics created in the last 100 days, must have viewed 25% (capped at 500)”

From a screen shot that an unnamed mod sent me, the requirement for Topic viewed is currently 266. So there have been 1,064 new topics in the last 100 days?

Users kind of get penalized if they don’t visit all the categories. A V8 user probably doesn’t visit the E10 topics, as they most likely don’t apply to them, nor could the be of help in providing solutions.

Just my 2 cents

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I was going to say something about that too, because I had to turn off E9 posts in the main feed because I kept putting my foot in my mouth answering questions that I had no business trying to answer. But then I look at the number of posts in E9 vs E10 and realized it wasn’t specific to me personally, so I didn’t say anything.

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Just curious - Does receiving digests of the posts count as them being viewed?

I don’t have any email notifications or digests turned on so I don’t get them.

And to be honest, I though that I was on here TOO MUCH, and yet I’m still not TL3 :frowning:

No Emails don’t count.