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Old 16th March 2006, 11:35 PM   #1
Learn To Sell

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Default How "Private" are PMs?

I was on a forum about forums today (vbulletin.org) and saw a thread about admins being able to read other member's PMs. Does this forum operate that way too? Just curious.

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Old 17th March 2006, 12:37 AM   #2
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Good question. I am curious about that too. I would speculate that they probably can, or that the site owner can, but I would also speculate that they are probably too busy to "check in" on everything that is going on.

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Old 17th March 2006, 04:34 AM   #3
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I have a busy rugby forum, and one of the first things I did was remove the ability for admins to read PM's. I am a great believer in privacy, but I will say one thing. If you are not prepared for it to come out, don't post it online.

If I really wanted to, I could go into the mysql database and read PM's, it would be abugger to do, but it can be done. Everything is stored someplace online in a dtabase, so nothing you say or do is truly private.

Peronally It doesn't worry me if anyone reads my PM's as they tend mostly to be off topic stuff between friends that does not fit well with the forum content.

Although often I speak to people on stuff that is sensitive to their businessese.

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Old 17th March 2006, 10:51 AM   #4
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Good question! I don't know the answer, but I'll point Robert to this thread.

I know that at the last forum I ran, I did have the ability to view PMs as an admin. However...the ONLY time we ever did this was when a member complained that someone was either harrassing them via PM or violating the TOS via PM (spam and whatnot).

If a complaint came in, we checked it out and took appropriate action.

What we didn't do, was sneak around reading everyone's private thoughts.

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Old 17th March 2006, 11:03 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Old Welsh Guy
I could go into the mysql database and read PM's...
Mods don't have the ability to do this, but everything is accessible to me and the other admins.

This is a great point to bring up about using private messages (PM) in any forum... at the minimum the primary admin will always have access. (Mods and other admins can be blocked) This is because everything is in a database. This can be helpful to investigate member complaints of being spammed via PM or to make sure there are no rules violations or illegal activities going on.

We respect members' privacy so we don't go around reading PMs for fun. But, as the others have said, in every forum (including ours) don't put anything online that could come back to haunt you.

Always better safe than sorry.

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Old 18th March 2006, 10:33 AM   #6
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I'm sure the admins on different forums would have plenty of interesting PM stories.

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