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View PM's in VB 5.2
by talhatc
16 Nov 2016 20:27

I wanted to know if there is a way to view other users PM's being a Super Admin.

I saw few plugins for VB 4, but VB 5 has none.

Is there a DB query which can show the latest PM's?

shimei 16 Nov 2016 20:50

I sure hope you put up a disclaimer on your board if you find what you're looking for.

Enjoy,
William

MarkFL 16 Nov 2016 20:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by shimei (Post 2578255)
I sure hope you put up a disclaimer on your board if you find what you're looking for.

Enjoy,
William

I agree completely...users should be made aware that their private messages are not completely private. :)

In Omnibus 16 Nov 2016 20:53

There is but I refuse to post it. If you don't trust members to use private messaging you should disable it rather than violating their privacy. Once it's known you read private messages your site will take a massive hit in membership and traffic.

Mark.B 16 Nov 2016 21:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by ProSportsForums (Post 2578257)
There is but I refuse to post it. If you don't trust members to use private messaging you should disable it rather than violating their privacy. Once it's known you read private messages your site will take a massive hit in membership and traffic.

That stance isn't helpful and it comes up every time someone asks this question. A lot of sites make this clear and indeed sites like my own expressly renamed 'Private Messaging' to 'Personal Messaging'.

It isn't about spying on users, it's about users understanding that PMs are just text entries in a database - anyone with database access can read them.

On my site a PM is merely a conversation that is not designed for the entire forum to read. If you make a post or send a message then believe it can be read by the site staff. That is also how I view PMs on ANY website I visit - the owner promising not to read anything even though he can is no privacy at all.

If users wish to state something in privacy, they should use email, and ideally encrypted email at that if genuine privacy is what they want.

http://www.bowlandcentral.com/forum/pm_policy.php?

shimei 16 Nov 2016 21:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark.B (Post 2578258)
That stance isn't helpful and it comes up every time someone asks this question. A lot of sites make this clear and indeed sites like my own expressly renamed 'Private Messaging' to 'Personal Messaging'.

It isn't about spying on users, it's about users understanding that PMs are just text entries in a database - anyone with database access can read them.

On my site a PM is merely a conversation that is not designed for the entire forum to read. If you make a post or send a message then believe it can be read by the site staff. That is also how I view PMs on ANY website I visit - the owner promising not to read anything even though he can is no privacy at all.

If users wish to state something in privacy, they should use email, and ideally encrypted email at that if genuine privacy is what they want.

http://www.bowlandcentral.com/forum/pm_policy.php?

The only case I can see this as a benefit, that is, being able to read another Pm's is if there is a question about someone stalking the younger members on my board which is open to very young persons. I would just rather them the ability to "forward" the pm to a staff member. I honestly haven't looked at whether this exists in pms, but it would be nice to have "report personal or private message" to a staff member.

Lastly, I do not think it would really really bother people on my board, but I do think it would deter people from using the pm system. On other boards I have helped out with, namely dating sites for Christians where there is an exchange of highly personal information it would take a nose dive - most certainly.

Enjoy,
William

In Omnibus 16 Nov 2016 21:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark.B (Post 2578258)
That stance isn't helpful and it comes up every time someone asks this question. A lot of sites make this clear and indeed sites like my own expressly renamed 'Private Messaging' to 'Personal Messaging'.

It isn't about spying on users, it's about users understanding that PMs are just text entries in a database - anyone with database access can read them.

On my site a PM is merely a conversation that is not designed for the entire forum to read. If you make a post or send a message then believe it can be read by the site staff. That is also how I view PMs on ANY website I visit - the owner promising not to read anything even though he can is no privacy at all.

If users wish to state something in privacy, they should use email, and ideally encrypted email at that if genuine privacy is what they want.

http://www.bowlandcentral.com/forum/pm_policy.php?

You're getting into a semantics argument on the meaning of the term "private." Your average user is going to assume private means between only the parties specified. Courts are going to determine that interpretation as reasonable and customary.

That's a dangerous game I would not be willing to play.

I'm not saying you're wrong. Private messaging is the least secure form of communication next to public messaging on a forum. But the average user knows nothing or virtually nothing about how the information is stored.

Users have a reasonable expectation of privacy when the word "private" appears in the title of the feature or function being used.

shimei 16 Nov 2016 21:40

Quote:

Originally Posted by ProSportsForums (Post 2578260)
You're getting into a semantics argument on the meaning of the term "private." Your average user is going to assume private means between only the parties specified. Courts are going to determine that interpretation as reasonable and customary.

That's a dangerous game I would not be willing to play.

I'm not saying you're wrong. Private messaging is the least secure form of communication next to public messaging on a forum. But the average user knows nothing or virtually nothing about how the information is stored.

Users have a reasonable expectation of privacy when the word "private" appears in the title of the feature or function being used.

But ya gotta love the way Mark's semantics turn some people around :D

Enjoy,
William

talhatc 16 Nov 2016 22:44

I believe the Administrator has the right to read the PM's of users which are suspected of messaging other users and trying to take away the traffic from your site.

That's the reason I wanted to know if there is a way to do that, rather than reading ALL PM's of every user. There are few users which need to be checked, not all.

Mark.B 17 Nov 2016 01:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by ProSportsForums (Post 2578260)
You're getting into a semantics argument on the meaning of the term "private." Your average user is going to assume private means between only the parties specified. Courts are going to determine that interpretation as reasonable and customary.

That's a dangerous game I would not be willing to play.

I'm not saying you're wrong. Private messaging is the least secure form of communication next to public messaging on a forum. But the average user knows nothing or virtually nothing about how the information is stored.

Users have a reasonable expectation of privacy when the word "private" appears in the title of the feature or function being used.

Well as I said, on my site the term was changed to 'Personal Messaging" which better describes what it is.

A lot depends on the nature of the site. Sites like mine, that are at times contentious to many people, have a long history of being 'attacked' by people who use the PM system to spread lies and hate, and try to either entice members away to rival 'protest' boards, or simply try and frighten people into not posting any more. Often it's along the lines of "you don't want to be on this site, email me and I'll tell you more" followed by an email address. It's an attempt to disrupt and damage the site. And I am not paying out considerable sums of money to provide the means for lowlife types to attack me and then cite 'privacy' to prevent me stopping them! Therefore, if I suspect it's going on, I will go and look. The policy I linked to above makes that clear. I'm not interested in reading the regular's PMs and they know that, but they also need to understand that the ability is there should the need arise.

Obviously, this approach wouldn't suit every site. These days things are calmer and nobody really does the whole 'protest board' thing now, they just head off to Facebook. For the past few years I just set new registrations so they don't get access to PMs at all...if they become a regular then they will gain access. Nobody needs to be joining a site and immediately sending PMs around the place, not on my site anyway. If they think it's of relevance they can post it in the forum.

It remains an eye-opener to many forum users to understand that anyone with access to the site's database can read PMs....just like that! Some site owners like to lie and pretend it can't be done without massive modifications etc, it can and it's extremely easy and anyone with anything genuinely confidential to say should never use any forum's PM system to say it. Send an encrypted email!

Horizon911 17 Mar 2017 21:37

As my new site is political and could be used for nefarious purposes, I do want the option to read PMs.

MarkB, How could do I that, or view the database as you suggest? Also, how would I change the name private messages to personal messages.

thanks

Paul M 19 Mar 2017 01:25

Just because the PM system was named "Private" does not mean it was ever intended to be "Secret".

It was probably named that simply because its direct person to person messaging, i.e. not using the public forums.
Some people read too much into a name, they were hardly ever likely to call it "Non Public Person to Person Messaging" ;)


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