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PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 2:22 pm
by liz
Hi folks

Those of you who have used the private messaging system on this forum over the last year will have received an email from us explaining that we're reluctantly going to have to turn the function off, at least for the time being. Here's the text of that email for your reference.
At Raspberry Pi, we are always working to improve the way we support the community. An important part of this effort is making sure that we comply with relevant regulation, like the GDPR in Europe, and COPPA in the United States. Following a recent review, we have concluded that the private messaging functionality provided by the raspberrypi.org forums is potentially problematic, particularly in the absence of a robust age-verification system, and will therefore be disabling private messaging on June 13th 2018. After this date it will not be possible to send or receive new messages, or to access old messages. We may reinstate private messaging at a later date if we are confident that we can do so in a compliant fashion.

Our intention is to allow time for you to archive any important correspondence, and to migrate ongoing private discussions to other platforms, but we do apologise for the inconvenience that we know this will cause.
We are looking at other options: we know that it's a useful feature for you all. Thanks for your understanding!

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 5:12 pm
by DougieLawson
Probably a good thing - I can edit my forum sig. Despite it, too many folks send tech questions to me by private message. Folks can DM on Twitter - but not for tech questions which should stay on the forum for everyone's benefit.

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 5:24 pm
by Heater
It's a shame. I have had a few interesting interactions through PM's.

But understandable. The Pi Foundation, being a charity, has to be squeaky clean w.r.t. the law. Even if the laws are onerous.

I do worry that the only way to reintroduce this feature is to demand knowing exactly who everyone is and being able to verify their age. No more anonymous registrations. Basically invading the privacy of all of us. Removing our freedoms even more.

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 6:10 pm
by DougieLawson
The underlying reason is that the RPF don't want to be the first folks to get arrested by the "EU GDPR Police" as fighting that would be a waste of the money destined for educational purposes. That seems like a valid reason. They can switch it back on when phpBB3 change the code, they change registration to verify ID or the first organisation arrested by the "EU GDPR Police" get off with a "caution and a kick-out".

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 6:14 pm
by Mortimer
How does that affect the "Report this post" button?
I can't recall if I have ever used it here, but in forums I have moderated in the past, the reporting mechanism used the PM system. Will that at least work between user reporting posts and moderators/admins?

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 8:00 pm
by gkreidl
Don't complain about the Foundation, don't complain about the laws, complain about the millions of people who have been abusing the net.

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 1:15 am
by Imperf3kt
I'm confused, what about this law requires you to remove private messaging?
I was under the impression the law affected public information - which private messages very well aren't.

What happens to the 'for sale' section of the forums? I highly doubt people want to advertise their address / paypal details or even contact details, publically.

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 5:25 am
by rpdom
Imperf3kt wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 1:15 am
I'm confused, what about this law requires you to remove private messaging?
The new rules are a bit vague, but they are about protecting individuals.

The main issue here is that there is nothing that can reliably verify the age of a user on the forums. Anyone of any age can use them. This includes young people. Unless PM is disabled, anyone could message them and the Foundation don't want to get caught out for allowing someone bad sending wrong messages to a kid. This is understandable.

I think the next step might be working out some way for age verification, then make PM an opt-in selection, rather than the default. (which is another point in that law - everything should be opt-in, not default)

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 5:29 am
by PeterO
rpdom wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 5:25 am

Unless PM is disabled, anyone could message them and the Foundation don't want to get caught out for allowing someone bad sending wrong messages to a kid. This is understandable.
If this were really the reason, then the PM system would have been turned off from the start !
PeterO

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 6:34 am
by rin67630
gkreidl wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 8:00 pm
Don't complain about the Foundation, don't complain about the laws, complain about the millions of people who have been abusing the net.
Those will continue abusing. It's not that a law that will stop them.
But half a billion people get annoyed by silly warnings like the ridiculous agreement to every cookie.

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 12:43 pm
by droleary
Imperf3kt wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 1:15 am
What happens to the 'for sale' section of the forums? I highly doubt people want to advertise their address / paypal details or even contact details, publically.
As was mentioned in the non-sticky thread about this, there are a ton of ways a person can give that allow you to contact them outside the forums. If it's a legitimate sale, why hide behind an anonymous account that exists only in these forums?
PeterO wrote: If this were really the reason, then the PM system would have been turned off from the start !
Oh, please. All software comes with default settings that most people leave alone unless they need to change them. In the case of this forum, the RPF simply decided that now is a good time to make that change.

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 12:51 pm
by PeterO
droleary wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 12:43 pm
PeterO wrote: If this were really the reason, then the PM system would have been turned off from the start !
Oh, please. All software comes with default settings that most people leave alone unless they need to change them. In the case of this forum, the RPF simply decided that now is a good time to make that change.
You've obviously not been here long enough to understand the history of changes being made to these forums. ISTR quite a lot of customisation was done to produce the current theme when the software was last upgraded. If there had been a child protection issue the PMs would have been turned off then. Linking it to GDPR issues is just muddying the water.
PeterO

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 12:56 pm
by bensimmo
There is Safeguarding Children (in the Workplace too) for which they will need to keep an eye on and the advice on this is regularly updated.
They are involved with children,

Also many companies have upped minimum age limit (to 16) which I believe is GDPR for EU countries.

They do what they have to do, let things pass and see how things settle.


Everyone is free to add their personal contact details from what I can see.
Pop in to your profile and tick the box
- Users can contact me by email

Or the various other methods
ucp.php?i=ucp_profile&mode=profile_info
Though they could/should probably be updated for more modern mobile apps methods, like WhatsApp, Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, Duo, and other countries etc.

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 1:25 pm
by drgeoff
liz wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 2:22 pm
Those of you who have used the private messaging system on this forum over the last year will have received an email from us explaining that we're reluctantly going to have to turn the function off,
"Used" appears to mean sending only, ie does not include receiving. I have received 4 PMs within the last 5 weeks but not sent any since October 2016. I have not received the explanatory email.

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 1:36 pm
by B.Goode
A simple question to the RPF on a matter of fact. Not intended for forum discussion.
[We] will therefore be disabling private messaging on June 13th 2018. After this date it will not be possible to send or receive new messages

Until now, Moderators have used Private Messages to forum users in the course of their duties in maintaining good order In the forums.

How will Moderators communicate with users in the absence of the Private Messaging facility?

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 3:18 pm
by jamesh
B.Goode wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 1:36 pm
A simple question to the RPF on a matter of fact. Not intended for forum discussion.
[We] will therefore be disabling private messaging on June 13th 2018. After this date it will not be possible to send or receive new messages

Until now, Moderators have used Private Messages to forum users in the course of their duties in maintaining good order In the forums.

How will Moderators communicate with users in the absence of the Private Messaging facility?
Good question. I thought Mods only were going to able to send PM's but maybe not. Will check.

I tend to do most of my telling off in public anyway....

And for those who are wondering whether this is really about safeguarding children - yes, it absolutely is. TBH, we should probably have turned it off some time ago, because there clearly could have been issues. However, it's taken the GDPR etc and the consequent chats with legal to prompt us to make the change.

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 3:44 pm
by Mortimer
Is there an answer as to whether or not this affects/breaks the "Report this post" function?

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 3:45 pm
by ShiftPlusOne
Mortimer wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 3:44 pm
Is there an answer as to whether or not this affects/breaks the "Report this post" function?
Reported posts are marked and also show up in the moderator's control panel. It doesn't go through PMs in our case.

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 3:52 pm
by hippy
In the past I have used Private Messaging to quickly contact the Foundation about serious issues which needed urgently addressing, which could not be discussed on the forum.

Think of things like "they've just leaked info on the new Pi 5B".

How should things like that now be reported or brought quickly to the Foundation's attention ?

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 4:09 pm
by jamesh
hippy wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 3:52 pm
In the past I have used Private Messaging to quickly contact the Foundation about serious issues which needed urgently addressing, which could not be discussed on the forum.

Think of things like "they've just leaked info on the new Pi 5B".

How should things like that now be reported or brought quickly to the Foundation's attention ?
info@raspberrypi.org is probably the best bet.

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 6:27 pm
by n67
I'm sure the RPF did the right thing in doing what they did.

Let me say that a few more times, just to be clear.

I'm sure the RPF did the right thing in doing what they did.
I'm sure the RPF did the right thing in doing what they did.
I'm sure the RPF did the right thing in doing what they did.


That said, one has to wonder what the wide ranging implications of these laws are going to be.
I'm thinking specifically about forums that CAN'T be moderated.

What about Usenet?

What about email in general?

Think particularly about that last. Are they going to require that email be banned and replaced with something (*) that can be moderated and regulated? Now, there's a scary thought...

(*) Presumably, something web based, like forums that are web-based.

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Wed May 23, 2018 9:17 am
by jamesh
n67 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 6:27 pm
I'm sure the RPF did the right thing in doing what they did.

Let me say that a few more times, just to be clear.

I'm sure the RPF did the right thing in doing what they did.
I'm sure the RPF did the right thing in doing what they did.
I'm sure the RPF did the right thing in doing what they did.


That said, one has to wonder what the wide ranging implications of these laws are going to be.
I'm thinking specifically about forums that CAN'T be moderated.

What about Usenet?

What about email in general?

Think particularly about that last. Are they going to require that email be banned and replaced with something (*) that can be moderated and regulated? Now, there's a scary thought...

(*) Presumably, something web based, like forums that are web-based.
There are a lot of ramifications, some which won't have been thought of yet. Going to be interesting.

Our POV is do what WE can to adhere to everything. I'm reminded of the joke, about running from a lion. You don't have to be faster than the lion, you just have to faster than the guy running next to you.

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Sun May 27, 2018 8:26 pm
by achrn
bensimmo wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 12:56 pm
Also many companies have upped minimum age limit (to 16) which I believe is GDPR for EU countries.
GDPR defaults to 16, but allows member states to pick any lower age as long as it's not below 13
(article 8 - https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content ... 79&from=EN).

The powers that be in the UK have decided to go with 13 - presumably expecting 13-year-olds will be able to read all this legalese and make an informed decision about consent
(Data Protection Act 2018 section 9 - https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/20 ... /9/enacted).

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:32 pm
by hamsterball1
Interestingly, I never received this announcement in email. I was going crazy trying to understand where the PM's went. Anyways, this is understandable. So, if two users who post on this forum want to communicate with each other directly, what do they do? Do they post a new topic and tag the user with "@" before their username? Does that notify the user? Is that appropriate? Is it appropriate to share email or phone numbers? What if one doesn't want to share those details in public due to concerns of spamming or privacy? Any other recommendations (speaking as a relative newbie who may not be aware of other options)?
edit: @droleary, can you link to the non-sticky thread about this that you mentioned? Couldn't find it.

Re: STICKY: PMs being turned off from June 13

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:25 am
by droleary
hamsterball1 wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:32 pm
edit: @droleary, can you link to the non-sticky thread about this that you mentioned? Couldn't find it.

Keep Private Messaging function, please help and post


The solution to people who want to be contacted directly remains fairly easy: set up one of the external links that is supported for accounts.