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Old 16 Nov 2016, 21:08
shimei shimei is offline
Join Date: Feb 2015
Originally Posted by Mark.B View Post
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.
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.

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