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Author Topic: Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?  (Read 15132 times)

Offline BAcres

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Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?
« on: February 28, 2010, 01:02:07 PM »
Is there a way for an Admin to go in and read PM's sent or received by a specific member? We have an issue with one member claiming another is harrassing them via PM, but won't forward the PM's for review, saying they've already been deleted. We've pointed out the "report PM" feature for future issues, but are wondering if there's a way to go in and track down the allegedly offensive PM's ourselves.

Offline YogiBear

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Re: Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2010, 02:20:50 PM »
Hi BAcres,

This question has arisen a few times to which the answer is SMF policy is PM's are exactly that - Private.

I know what you mean as I have encountered this problem in the past but if the member being harrassed won't report it using the Report To Administrator then all you can do is either bar the person allegedly doing the harrassing from sending PM's or tell the person being harrassed to set their account (or you could do it) to ignore PM's from that person.

I believe there is a way to snoop on members' PM's in the database but it isn't considered ethical.
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Offline BAcres

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Re: Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2010, 02:25:44 PM »
Understood. This was considered a last resort, but I wanted to know if it was even possible. Appreciate the response.

Offline TehCraw

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Re: Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2010, 03:16:25 PM »
It is possible to build an interface for reading other members PMs, but I don't think anyone will be willing to build it for you, as most people feel that Private Messages should remain private (even to the administrators).

Sorry.
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Offline Matthew K.

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Re: Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2010, 03:20:37 PM »
It's possible, but I can gaurentee it won't ever happen.

First of all, most mod authors who could actually build it (including myself) consider it a very big privacy breech so it would never be coded most likely.

Even if it was coded and submitted, the SMF Customization Team would reject the mod.

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It is possible to build an interface for reading other members PMs, but I don't think anyone will be willing to build it for you, as most people feel that Private Messages should remain private (even to the administrators).

Sorry.

Offline BAcres

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Re: Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2010, 03:26:16 PM »
Thanks, the question has been answered for me.

Offline tzora

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Re: Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 01:23:30 AM »
It is possible to build an interface for reading other members PMs, but I don't think anyone will be willing to build it for you, as most people feel that Private Messages should remain private (even to the administrators).

Sorry.
This is SUPER .. who needs an administrator anyway? members can go talking behind admin's back how to mess-up his life and you as an admin have no control over it. An Administrator's job is to monitor user activity, even in their private messages. Know what are people doing on the forums and here you have no control over what they talk behind ur back knowing that the admin can't read private messages. I had to literally dig into the database to find 5 bad eggs in my community of 100 people. These five snakes were poisoning people and I had no proof until I digged into the database. What sort of nonsense is this? Really, I'm annoyed that people are so ignorant to keep the "private messages" so private that even admin has to work his butt off to find what people are talking behind closed doors ...

sorry for necroing this old thread. Mods, please excuse me for necroing but I couldn't swallow what people are saying about private messages .. seriously  :o

Offline Antechinus

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Re: Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2013, 01:31:12 AM »
Yeah I know. I mean the very notion that private messages should be private is just stupid, right? I mean take the government. Obviously there's no way they could run the country properly unless they can intercept all your private communications, and as a fine upstanding citizen you'd be totally ok with them doing this, right? :D

Offline Mick.

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Re: Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2013, 01:34:35 AM »
Yeah I know. I mean the very notion that private messages should be private is just stupid, right? I mean take the government. Obviously there's no way they could run the country properly unless they can intercept all your private communications, and as a fine upstanding citizen you'd be totally ok with them doing this, right? :D
lol

Offline Chalky

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Re: Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2013, 02:33:32 AM »
Well I have wired up hidden microphones in the houses of all my friends and work colleagues so I can hear what they say about me behind my back. I mean, what else would they talk about?   O:)

Offline Antechinus

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Re: Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 02:43:19 AM »
Very wise. ;) You never know what they are plotting.

Offline MtnDon

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Re: Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2013, 12:18:18 AM »
tzora,  what sites do you manage, please. Just want to be certain I never venture there.

....amazing!

Offline Colin

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Re: Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2013, 02:58:03 AM »
You are aware there is a report to admin function for PMs, right?
"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody is not thinking." - Gen. George S. Patton Jr.

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Re: Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2013, 05:23:24 AM »
I even went as far, on my forum, as letting the members know that I COULD read their messages, if I wanted to. It was, then, down to them trusting that I wouldn't. After all, it's not difficult.

It's all down to trust.

I think someone just lost rather a lot of that.

If I even had an inkling that someone, here, read anybody's messages, I'd attack their bollox with a rusty saw.

Offline tzora

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Re: Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2013, 09:41:36 PM »
ok .. let me ask you a question. if you are at "WORK" are there any cameras? are things monitored? is there any security/monitoring on the work computers? Your answer is YES .. OMG!! SO BAD!! Right? Business should be sued!

Sir, its a forum related to "webmasters" and if someone is discussing their bed time stories or their health problems or discussing sensitive info about their private life through PMs, its THEIR fault, not my fault. Yes, I wish to make it clear in BIG LETTERS that your private messages are monitored.

You guys are so confused with the concept of privacy. At your work, what you do on the "COMPANY COMPUTERS" is monitored in every way. Your usage of your cell phone is limited so that you don't go selling company's data to outsiders. Each and every activity is monitored (except when u go to rest rooms to take a pee). Getting my point now?

Offline Arantor

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Re: Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2013, 09:46:55 PM »
I used to work for a Fortune 500 company. There were no cameras in the main office, nor was computer access logged anywhere near the level you are suggesting. Calls were recorded, but only because they involved personal information from third parties and was required by law within the industry I was working within.

The point actually stands: private messages should be private. Big difference from telling them that you have the power to actually doing it. Since also there is the report function, there is really no great need to go through the PM database manually for any reason.

All you're essentially saying is that you don't actually trust your members - and by extension that they shouldn't really trust you. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

* Arantor thinks the only person confused by the concept of *privacy* is the person trying to infringe it.
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Offline tzora

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Re: Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2013, 10:00:57 PM »
I can still read the PMs by digging into database and doing that really helped me find the bad eggs .. there goes the user privacy out of the window :(

Offline Arantor

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Re: Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2013, 10:02:45 PM »
Of course we can't stop you doing that. But imagine how your users are going to feel if they found out you were doing that. As stated, you can advise them that you have the power, but having the ability is not the same as using that ability.

There is a policy here of not allowing mods for it and not helping people trying to do it because we've seen what happens when it is abused.
To assume is to hope that those who came before had the presence of mind and capacity to implement the dreams of those who would come after.

You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. It seems you have chosen which, and now I must do the same.

Offline tzora

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Re: Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2013, 10:13:07 PM »
dear aranator, i'm not trying to do anything illegal. if you're getting that sort of sense from my posts, i apologize. i have no intentions of stealing anyone's private info by going into their private messages.

i wish to make it clear to my community members that their private messages are monitored and they should not be discussing anything sensitive in/through their private messages. i have that added in the terms of service on my forum. i installed Adk Portal and have already setup a page where i have clearly mentioned that the private messages are monitored.

i already made an announcement to the community members too. after reading that, a few of them questioned and i frankly told them, yes the private messages will be monitored. if they didn't like that, they could either not communicate through private messages or can request account closure. i have no problems with people leaving because more will join. i want my community to be CLEAN in everyway. I don't wish to have trolls, snakes and people who undermine the boards through private messages.

Private messaging is a facility provided to board members so that they can discuss "FORUM related" things that they do not wish to discuss in open. But admin has every right to know what they are communicating in their private messages. I have made clear to them that they shouldn't be discussing their private life or sensitive information that they do not wish to out with others.

People have been given tools, they have been advised that stuff is monitored and now it is up to them to be cautious. they wish to discuss their private life, medical history or relationship through PMs, up to them. i have nothing to do with all that crap, my focus is webmasters, web designing, freelancing. and anyone who discusses how to undermine forums and make a the admin look like a brainless fool, I WILL find them out and kick them off the forums. And, I have every right to do that!

Offline Arantor

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Re: Setting to Allow Admin to Read Member PM's?
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2013, 10:21:04 PM »
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i'm not trying to do anything illegal

Did I say illegal? If I meant illegal, I would have said it. The word is unethical.

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i wish to make it clear to my community members that their private messages are monitored and they should not be discussing anything sensitive in/through their private messages

Why?

Why do you have to monitor them? That says you don't trust them. Far better is to say that you have the power should the need arise and leave it at that. You certainly do not have to actively monitor them.

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But admin has every right to know what they are communicating in their private messages.

You have a very, very strange definition of privacy.

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I WILL find them out and kick them off the forums. And, I have every right to do that!

Sure you have every right. But if it becomes generally known that you will do that, it will undermine your community, just as if you flat out posted the contents of them for everyone to see.

If you're so determined to not have that content... just don't allow it and be bloody well done with it.
To assume is to hope that those who came before had the presence of mind and capacity to implement the dreams of those who would come after.

You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. It seems you have chosen which, and now I must do the same.