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Feature request: Disable direct messages for some users

By Christian Scheuer @chrscheuer2020-04-06 14:04:04.119Z

Quite often (especially new) users will inadvertently end up writing a question as a Direct Message or even in a chat.

While I don't want to eliminate direct messages between regular users, it would be great if there was an option for me to set so that my user can only receive new direct messages from certain groups, from specific users or if I initiate myself.

Perhaps this should be a potential limitation enforced through group permissions etc?

The reason is - our community is hastily growing. We're building various automation of the email and support requests we receive, so that we with as little effort as possible can redirect their requests to the proper channels.
For example we'll be receiving emails through Intercom, and I've built an Intercop app (plugin) where I can just click one button, and their email is converted to a forum post (which is made by the user).

Since I can't do that for Direct Messages, and also to just have one less noisy input in my online life - it would be great if I could disable direct messages to my user. BUT - since we'll be building the chat service where users can share stuff directly to each other in private threads - I would love to still be able to grant access to DM'ing me from a few users or groups.

Hope this makes sense. If it's easier to start with, I would love to have the ability to just disable DM's to my user altogether.

Also, it perhaps would be nice if we could turn off chats, since quite a few new users end up asking questions there, and we're not really using chats at the moment.

All in all this would just be to make sure our users focus their attention at the aspects of the forum that we use :)

  • 7 replies
  1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2020-04-16 11:12:47.994Z

    I think this is a good idea. Someone else also wants something similar to this this. — Plus, probably good also for schools and students (maybe a student is uncomfortable with getting messaged by anyone in the whole school / university).

    limitation enforced through group permissions
    grant access to DM'ing me from a few users or groups

    Yes, could be similar to category notifications — but for allowing / disallowing private messages instead.
    Look here: https:// your forum /-/groups/admins/preferences/notifications
    — there could be a similar page, but that lists all groups instead, and the dropdowns would be May-that-other-group-message-this-group settings.

    This preferences page could be available to individual users too, in the same way as for groups.

    would be nice if we could turn off chats

    You can go here: https:// the forum address /-/admin/settings/features and un-check Enable chat ...
    and ... oh, there's also an Enable direct messages which you can un-check too (I had forgotten about that one).

    1. CChristian Scheuer @chrscheuer2020-04-16 11:26:25.981Z

      Thanks for considering this Magnus!

      Thank you, I will disable chat for now but keep Direct Messages enabled, since that's gonna be the core feature for which our users will share scripts (remember that's why we made the whole API for creating private threads).
      So it would be ideal to just be able to turn off DM's to certain groups/users (just for me basically) - yet still allow me to start a DM if I want, and also allow certain users to DM me, just not everybody.
      Hope it makes sense :)

    2. C
      In reply tochrscheuer:
      Christian Scheuer @chrscheuer2020-04-12 11:54:29.450Z

      I've now just disabled direct messages entirely throughout the site by hiding the "Send Message" links through CSS.
      Basically a "hack" but it should help us already. I do want individual members to be able to contact each other though, so would nice to be able to only disable for myself and other admin users.

      Note, we could do this, if the "Send Message" links had a data-username attribute on them ;)

      1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2020-04-16 11:25:58.920Z

        data-username — it could be on the <div> for the about-user dialog? And you'd do sth like, in CSS: ?

        [data-username="someone"]  .the-send-message-button { display: block }    // instead of  none
        

        A bit unrelated, but if a group could be configured to have a custom CSS class added to the <html> elem — that could be a way to try out custom theme things, for a subset of all users.

        1. CChristian Scheuer @chrscheuer2020-04-16 11:28:45.462Z

          Yea! Great ideas for quicker hacking :)

          1. CChristian Scheuer @chrscheuer2020-04-16 11:29:04.884Z

            I was very pleased to find out just how much I could control via a little added JS and CSS :)

      2. Progress
        with doing this idea
      3. @KajMagnus marked this topic as Planned 2020-04-16 11:13:08.813Z.