Author Topic: No, We Cannot Read Your PMs  (Read 1796 times)

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Offline Fr. George

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No, We Cannot Read Your PMs
« on: January 07, 2014, 11:08:53 AM »
Good morning!  To those on the Old Calendar, a Merry Christmas to you, and to those on the New, a blessed Theophany (and feast of St. John) to all.

On occasion, the subject of "who can read my PMs" arises in threads, along the lines of, "I'm sure the (insert: mods, administrators, global mods) can go through and read my PMs."  This is usually offered as an insult to the mods (insinuating that they'd do anything to try and impugn one's reputation), or as a conspiratorial volley ("they're out to get us!").

The simple answer: for the most part, we cannot.  There is no access point in the Simple Machines Forum (SMF) software for us to read anyone's PMs - the SMF developers are opposed to such access in principle (as are we), and thus made no access point. Thus, we don't have a way to snoop on your PMs, and we frankly don't want to.  We are perfectly aware that there are (and always have been) users who are dissatisfied with how the forum is run who choose to PM each other to complain, plan, etc. - generally, they or someone they communicate with is open with us about their existence.  But even in those cases, we're not interested in reading your PMs.  There are other factors (how they're organized, the sheer volume, etc.) that would deter anyone from looking into them anyway.

Two notable exceptions:

1. If someone reports your PM to us, then yes, we can read it - but only what is specifically reported to us, not others (i.e. if someone reports one harassing PM, we're not able to go back and see any history of back-and-forth, unless those were also individually reported to us).  This is included as a safe-guard against PM harassment.  Easiest way to avoid this: don't harass people (via PM, or any other means).

2. Anastasios, site owner and technical administrator, could theoretically slog through the MySQL database to find PMs.  But it wouldn't be easy or convenient.  He's the only one with server & database access and has also expressed in the past that he's not interested in snooping on people's PMs. 

So rest easy that the moderators, GMs, and Administrators have neither the access nor the inclination to read your PMs. 
"If you are going to serve the Lord, be prepared for times when you will be put to the test. Be sincere and determined. Keep calm when trouble comes. Stay with the Lord; never abandon Him and you will be prosperous at the end of your days. Accept whatever happens to you. Even if you suffer humiliation, be patient. Gold is tested by fire and human character is tested in the furnace of humiliation. Trust the Lord and He will help you. Walk straight in His ways and put your hope in Him. " Sir 2:1-6

Offline mike

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Re: No, We Cannot Read Your PMs
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2014, 11:16:57 AM »
One does have to read PMs to get general concept of simpations and antipations, parties, factions, coup d'etats being prepared etc. Most posters are quite easy to successfully predict what they write or do.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: No, We Cannot Read Your PMs
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2014, 11:27:30 AM »
One does have to read PMs to get general concept of simpations and antipations, parties, factions, coup d'etats being prepared etc. Most posters are quite easy to successfully predict what they write or do.

I presume you meant to say, "One does not have to...," no?
"If you are going to serve the Lord, be prepared for times when you will be put to the test. Be sincere and determined. Keep calm when trouble comes. Stay with the Lord; never abandon Him and you will be prosperous at the end of your days. Accept whatever happens to you. Even if you suffer humiliation, be patient. Gold is tested by fire and human character is tested in the furnace of humiliation. Trust the Lord and He will help you. Walk straight in His ways and put your hope in Him. " Sir 2:1-6

Offline WPM

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Re: No, We Cannot Read Your PMs
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2014, 11:28:40 AM »
That's if your account is hacked ...

Offline mike

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Re: No, We Cannot Read Your PMs
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2014, 11:29:34 AM »
One does have to read PMs to get general concept of simpations and antipations, parties, factions, coup d'etats being prepared etc. Most posters are quite easy to successfully predict what they write or do.

I presume you meant to say, "One does not have to...," no?

Right.
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Offline WPM

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Re: No, We Cannot Read Your PMs
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2014, 11:37:23 AM »
Good morning!  To those on the Old Calendar, a Merry Christmas to you, and to those on the New, a blessed Theophany (and feast of St. John) to all.

On occasion, the subject of "who can read my PMs" arises in threads, along the lines of, "I'm sure the (insert: mods, administrators, global mods) can go through and read my PMs."  This is usually offered as an insult to the mods (insinuating that they'd do anything to try and impugn one's reputation), or as a conspiratorial volley ("they're out to get us!").

The simple answer: for the most part, we cannot.  There is no access point in the Simple Machines Forum (SMF) software for us to read anyone's PMs - the SMF developers are opposed to such access in principle (as are we), and thus made no access point. Thus, we don't have a way to snoop on your PMs, and we frankly don't want to.  We are perfectly aware that there are (and always have been) users who are dissatisfied with how the forum is run who choose to PM each other to complain, plan, etc. - generally, they or someone they communicate with is open with us about their existence.  But even in those cases, we're not interested in reading your PMs.  There are other factors (how they're organized, the sheer volume, etc.) that would deter anyone from looking into them anyway.

Two notable exceptions:

1. If someone reports your PM to us, then yes, we can read it - but only what is specifically reported to us, not others (i.e. if someone reports one harassing PM, we're not able to go back and see any history of back-and-forth, unless those were also individually reported to us).  This is included as a safe-guard against PM harassment.  Easiest way to avoid this: don't harass people (via PM, or any other means).

2. Anastasios, site owner and technical administrator, could theoretically slog through the MySQL database to find PMs.  But it wouldn't be easy or convenient.  He's the only one with server & database access and has also expressed in the past that he's not interested in snooping on people's PMs. 

So rest easy that the moderators, GMs, and Administrators have neither the access nor the inclination to read your PMs. 


God bless you Fr. George! <wave>

Offline ZealousZeal

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Re: No, We Cannot Read Your PMs
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2014, 11:42:17 AM »
So all of the subliminal messages I've been leaving in my PMs are going unnoticed? Figures.
Bad times, hard times, this is what people keep saying; but let us live well, and times shall be good. We are the times: Such as we are, such are the times. -St. Augustine

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: No, We Cannot Read Your PMs
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2014, 11:46:17 AM »
Anyone who attempted to read my PMs would quickly come to the realization that my secret conversations are just as boring and pointless as my regular posting.  :P
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: No, We Cannot Read Your PMs
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2014, 11:50:23 AM »
One does have to read PMs to get general concept of simpations and antipations, parties, factions, coup d'etats being prepared etc. Most posters are quite easy to successfully predict what they write or do.

I presume you meant to say, "One does not have to...," no?

Freudian slip? :)  :angel:

Not sure how (or why) one would organize a coup d'etat here. Better a known evil than an unknown evil and all. (again  :angel:)
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If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
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I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: No, We Cannot Read Your PMs
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2014, 11:51:41 AM »
Good morning!  To those on the Old Calendar, a Merry Christmas to you, and to those on the New, a blessed Theophany (and feast of St. John) to all.

On occasion, the subject of "who can read my PMs" arises in threads, along the lines of, "I'm sure the (insert: mods, administrators, global mods) can go through and read my PMs."  This is usually offered as an insult to the mods (insinuating that they'd do anything to try and impugn one's reputation), or as a conspiratorial volley ("they're out to get us!").

The simple answer: for the most part, we cannot.  There is no access point in the Simple Machines Forum (SMF) software for us to read anyone's PMs - the SMF developers are opposed to such access in principle (as are we), and thus made no access point. Thus, we don't have a way to snoop on your PMs, and we frankly don't want to.  We are perfectly aware that there are (and always have been) users who are dissatisfied with how the forum is run who choose to PM each other to complain, plan, etc. - generally, they or someone they communicate with is open with us about their existence.  But even in those cases, we're not interested in reading your PMs.  There are other factors (how they're organized, the sheer volume, etc.) that would deter anyone from looking into them anyway.

Two notable exceptions:

1. If someone reports your PM to us, then yes, we can read it - but only what is specifically reported to us, not others (i.e. if someone reports one harassing PM, we're not able to go back and see any history of back-and-forth, unless those were also individually reported to us).  This is included as a safe-guard against PM harassment.  Easiest way to avoid this: don't harass people (via PM, or any other means).

2. Anastasios, site owner and technical administrator, could theoretically slog through the MySQL database to find PMs.  But it wouldn't be easy or convenient.  He's the only one with server & database access and has also expressed in the past that he's not interested in snooping on people's PMs. 

So rest easy that the moderators, GMs, and Administrators have neither the access nor the inclination to read your PMs. 


God bless you Fr. George! <wave>

+1
Many years to Fr. George!
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If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.

Offline Shiny

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Re: No, We Cannot Read Your PMs
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2014, 11:51:55 AM »
If you gotta say something to someone and want to keep it "private", better off emailing.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: No, We Cannot Read Your PMs
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2014, 11:52:26 AM »
So all of the subliminal messages I've been leaving in my PMs are going unnoticed? Figures.

 ;D

Maybe you should be less subtle.
Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.

Offline ZealousZeal

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Re: No, We Cannot Read Your PMs
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2014, 11:57:53 AM »
So all of the subliminal messages I've been leaving in my PMs are going unnoticed? Figures.

 ;D

Maybe you should be less subtle.

The letters of my messages are scattered randomly throughout my PMs.
Bad times, hard times, this is what people keep saying; but let us live well, and times shall be good. We are the times: Such as we are, such are the times. -St. Augustine

Offline Fr. George

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Re: No, We Cannot Read Your PMs
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2014, 12:03:55 PM »
If you gotta say something to someone and want to keep it "private", better off emailing.

Nowadays, I think the only sure-fire way is a face-to-face conversation in the woods (away from technology). ;)
"If you are going to serve the Lord, be prepared for times when you will be put to the test. Be sincere and determined. Keep calm when trouble comes. Stay with the Lord; never abandon Him and you will be prosperous at the end of your days. Accept whatever happens to you. Even if you suffer humiliation, be patient. Gold is tested by fire and human character is tested in the furnace of humiliation. Trust the Lord and He will help you. Walk straight in His ways and put your hope in Him. " Sir 2:1-6

Offline TheMathematician

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Re: No, We Cannot Read Your PMs
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2014, 12:47:57 PM »
If you gotta say something to someone and want to keep it "private", better off emailing.

Nowadays, I think the only sure-fire way is a face-to-face conversation in the woods (away from technology). ;)

I prefer the desert, personally

Or in a crowded bar, where nothing will be overheard because of the sheer volume of people.

Offline hecma925

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Re: No, We Cannot Read Your PMs
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2014, 12:58:13 PM »
If you gotta say something to someone and want to keep it "private", better off emailing.

Nowadays, I think the only sure-fire way is a face-to-face conversation in the woods (away from technology). ;)

I prefer the desert, personally

Or in a crowded bar, where nothing will be overheard because of the sheer volume of people.
No because the satellites can still listen in.  One wrong word and black helicopters filled with secret agents appear out of nowhere.
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: No, We Cannot Read Your PMs
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2014, 01:01:54 PM »
I think Christopher Pelant has established quite well the inability to escape modern technology. Best stick to silence.

Though OT... interesting, you learning something every day, even about places you've been around for years.  :angel:

Offline mike

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Re: No, We Cannot Read Your PMs
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2014, 08:53:37 PM »
Not sure how (or why) one would organize a coup d'etat here. Better a known evil than an unknown evil and all. (again  :angel:)

Well, a couple of poster made their goal to remove me from being a mod. Their activities included spamming reports of posts by me despite them not breaking rules in most cases, discussing the issue with my former supervisors and instructing other (especially new) members about my unworthiness.

Not, that it was a deciding factor in my resignation since I personally did not care about that but it was not an argument for me in favour of remaining either.
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Offline Gunnarr

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Re: No, We Cannot Read Your PMs
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2014, 01:50:29 AM »
only the NSA can read our PM s.....

oh...

and God of course...
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Offline Opus118

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Re: No, We Cannot Read Your PMs
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2014, 11:45:21 PM »
Not sure how (or why) one would organize a coup d'etat here. Better a known evil than an unknown evil and all. (again  :angel:)

Well, a couple of poster made their goal to remove me from being a mod. Their activities included spamming reports of posts by me despite them not breaking rules in most cases, discussing the issue with my former supervisors and instructing other (especially new) members about my unworthiness.

Not, that it was a deciding factor in my resignation since I personally did not care about that but it was not an argument for me in favour of remaining either.

Well I am certainly a fan of yours Michal and I appreciate  your forcing me to reflect the 50% of the time when I disagree with you.