Donate Now
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Got Questions? Get Answers. » COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS & HELPS » Site Help and Service » User thoughts on PMs

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: User thoughts on PMs
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just to make this VERY clear: I'm about to ask what I am just to get a sense of what all of you think. This isn't up for a majority vote by users, and chances are very high I will NOT make PMs here useable for the users, but I want to see what all of you think so I can think about this over time, and so our volunteers can also get some food for thought about it.

That said:

The new UBB has the option of private messenging for all users. Scarleteen has some very sepcific issues as a site, which is why we've never allowed, for instance, users to publicly post messenger handles or e-mail addresses.

Namely, young adults talking candidly about sex can draw some real creeps/predatory people. Young adults talking candidly about sex can create an enviornment for other youth unused to this to....well, not exactly be at their best behaviour.

For the time being, we have decided NOT to have PMs useable for the userbase because we're very concerned about doing what we can to protect you best from both predators and harassment and don't know what systems we could put in place to police that that would both work practically, and not wind up casuing all of our staff and volunteers to spend more time dealing with PM issues than answering your questions.

However, many of you DO forge good friendships here, and PMs can be a fine way to continue to develop those. PMs could be helpful for users to alert staff and vols to issues as need be (especially consdiering how utterly overpacked my email box usually is). PMs can also provide a more appropriate environment for casual "hanging-out" talk than the boards are.

I'm just curious what y'all think about this. Like I said, this isn't about convincing me to do one thing or another, and this isn't anything I'd immediately change anyway. But I'm interested in at least knowing what some of you think so that I can take it into consideration.

Thanks!

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68255 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
origami_jane
Activist
Member # 27369

Icon 1 posted      Profile for origami_jane     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I feel like PMs would be an easier way to talk with people, especially if they wanted to do a sort of follow-up PM for the people who helped them with a problem or something.

Perhaps we let users decide if they want to recieve PMs, but first they have to read Terms of Use or something? Is there an option to forward PMs and/or block PMs from certain people if users get suspicious or uncomfortable?

Or maybe have a section where people can leave messages for certain users? That way it'd be like a PM, but public?

Or what about enabling PMs but only to Staff? ...wait, I guess that's what that whole other part of the board is for. Nevermind.

I can see your predicament, though. This is a difficult decision. I'll keep brainstorming, though.

Posts: 129 | From: Mid-Atlantic US | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
-Lauren-
Activist
Member # 25983

Icon 1 posted      Profile for -Lauren-     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think that PMs would be an excellent way to communicate with other users. I think something similar to origami_jane. Maybe write up a Terms of Use specifically applying to private messaging, along with safety measures to follow. Only users that agree to the terms can send and recieve PM's, or something to that effect.

Given the current MySpace hoopla, parents are becoming more concerned about internet predators, so it is a fine rope to walk. I personally, however, would enjoy being able to use PM on this site and know from general net experience how to protect myself from creeps.

Just my two cents!

Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
dailicious
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 22471

Icon 1 posted      Profile for dailicious     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm actually going to play a devil's advocate roll to what has been said (I know, I'm a mod, not a user, so I'm also speaking from a bit different angle, but I thought this was an important point to raise), specifically this point in particular:

quote:
Maybe write up a Terms of Use specifically applying to private messaging, along with safety measures to follow. Only users that agree to the terms can send and recieve PM's, or something to that effect.
One thing we as mods are CONSTANTLY doing is reminding people of the guidelines they agreed to when they signed up that they are NOT following. While it is not a bad idea to have a terms and conditions for PM, were it implemented, knowing the trends of the majority of people who use any internet service that comes with a user agreement- people will quite often (and it may be fair to say most of the time) say they agree without having read a word of what they had just agreed to.

Unless either moderators or admins HAD access to maintaining a users' private messages (which would essentially defeat the point and the privacy, as well as being a huge drain in the moderator's energies that already are sometimes strained and do need to be focused to the boards themsevles) I believe it would be FAR too likely the system would be very badly abused.

I do think it is unfair that those users who COULD benefit from a PM system and who would know how to use it properly and be aware of signs of harassment or predators could not be able to use it without all those who very simply might not be able to do so or who would abuse it badly having access to it as well.

--------------------
Jean
aka dailicious
Scarleteen Volunteer
Love us? Want to keep us in your lives and hearts? Give what you can!

Posts: 3382 | From: Denver, Colorado | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Irm
Activist
Member # 27418

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Irm     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm kinda with dailicious on this one, sadly. There have been many occations where I've thought, "Oh wow this user is just so great and we have so much in common! If only I could PM them!", but I also look at some of the NOT so great people who come snooping through here (like religious zealots trying to convince users their sex lives are wrong), and of course people who mean well but give some pretty hurtful advice (thinking about a fellow who was suggesting penis enlargement to improve a user's self confidence). Writing some Terms is no guarantee that they will be followed, and if someone has a blatantly malicious purpose, they sure will not be stopped by a few words. Considering the atmosphere of these boards, I personally feel that any interactions that occur here should be under the watchful eye of the moderators. Any solution should take that, AND the limited time-frame/abilities of the moderators into consideration. PMs just don't look like a good idea for this site specifically.

(I thought about a potential idea where you could go kind of halfway and adopt a policy on PMing somewhat like your policy on recruiting mods. When a user has been at the boards a while and demonstrated responsibility, you could open up their ability to PM. BUT, A) I don't know if the system lets you do that, B) That's still open for abuse, C) More work for moderators, and D) Might cause jealousy/anger issues. Pretty much similar issues are going to be met for most potential compramises, I think.)

Posts: 213 | From: Private | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
origami_jane
Activist
Member # 27369

Icon 1 posted      Profile for origami_jane     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I guess I'm with dailicious and RedGoddess, now that I think about it. At first I was kind of excited about the prospect of PMs (I keep wanting to write PMS, heh) that I didn't fully consider the consequences.

PMs work well on forums where the subject is movies, or music, or comics..... but here, where many of the users are minors and the subjects are so delicate, PMs don't really have a place.

Posts: 129 | From: Mid-Atlantic US | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
-Lauren-
Activist
Member # 25983

Icon 1 posted      Profile for -Lauren-     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I agree with all of you. I was simply stating that a good number of our users (I would hope!) DO have adequate judgement to deal with harassment or predators.

Dailicious brought up a good point-- I know some things I sign up for, I sometimes don't read the entire agreement. Given the number of times mods have to remind users of the Terms of Use, that's apparent for some users.

RedGoddess was onto something-- Granting PM priviledges to users who have been around the boards for awhile and proved useful. While I think that would decrease potential for abuse, there's definately the jealousy/anger factor mentioned above.

So yes, there are definate repercussions, and such a system WOULD take a further toll on mods. I guess I'm just a little put out that those bad eggs have to ruin what would be a nice way to interact with other users.

Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Nailo
Activist
Member # 26390

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Nailo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hm...with regard to the PM priviledges, would people really need to know who has them? Also, maybe it would be best if only people who have these said "priviledges" could talk to each other, ie, a person who can send PMs cannot send one to someone who cannot respond.

Then again, there would be countless people asking "why haven't I gotten a permission yet?!". I will ponder some more about it... it's a shame, because there are some people here who I would really like to talk to!

--------------------
"Love does not make itself in the desire for copulation, but in the desire for shared sleep." - The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera

Posts: 410 | From: Dallas, TX | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3