mr profit's girl friday (and all week long) (tiferet) wrote in suggestions,
mr profit's girl friday (and all week long)

Private Messages should be opt-in and the default should be Friends Only

Private Messages should be opt-in and the default should be Friends Only

Short, concise description of the idea
Participation in Private Messaging should be opt-in, not opt-out, and the default setting should be "mutual friends only", not "all registered users".

Full description of the idea
When Private Messaging was turned on, it was turned on for everyone to opt out and the default setting was "all registered users". Unfortunately, many people register accounts specifically to harass people, and I know I, personally, had no less than four harassing private messages on several different accounts within less than a day. This is the kind of thing that is particularly distressing to new users, much like the problem of serial adders with disgusting or offensive journal names/material. Setting it to include friends-of is also a bad idea because many journals of this harassing nature friend people specifically to be annoying. Allowing them to PM people means they can be even nastier than they might in random comments, because no-one else will see it, and also opens up the possibility of sexual harassment, which is a serious problem for women and younger people in online communities.

An ordered list of benefits
  • * People who join LJ won't receive private messages from people they haven't already decided they want to communicate with.
  • * Private messaging won't be used for trolling, annoying less savvy LJ users who will get too upset to wade through the FAQs and options to figure out how to turn this off and will instead file loads of support/abuse requests.
  • * Private messaging won't be used to hit on people who aren't necessarily interested in that sort of thing simply because their usernames or interests indicate that they may happen to be female, gay, trans or under age.
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • * People won't get PMs until they've made friends. Some people might not like that although I think most people will prefer not to get PMs from total strangers.
  • * Some coding would be involved.
  • * The defaults would have to be changed.
Tags: private messaging, security, § no status
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