Question about PM settings


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Scarab Sages

When somebody on here turns off their receptivity to PMs, does that mean they also forfeit the ability to send PMs, or can they still do so?

I'm asking because I hope it's the former; if it's the latter, then that must be fixed. It's potentially a blank check for people to harass others with impunity, or to preserve their own freedom of speech yet deny others theirs. I can even think of a few people on this site (won't name names, of course) I worry might not be above such dirty pool.


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Another possibility might be that sending someone a PM opens you to PMs from that person, as sending someone a PM would indicate that you want to have a private conversation with them.

Scarab Sages

That's definitely an option ("You have been flagged for PvP!"). Unfortunately, I have had one experience wherein I had a long horrible argument with someone on here, and after several exchanges, my last PM to that person didn't go through - he/she/it had abruptly switched to "non-receptive to PMs" (although I did not receive any more PMs from that person, nor have I since then, hence my still needing to ask the question above).


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Simple enough experiment:
a) change your setting to "no PMs"
b) try to send me a PM
c) post in this thread that you tried to send a PM
d) I'll report whether or not I got a PM from you
e) toggle your setting if you want to go back to receiving PMs


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Even if it were as you suggest, nothings going to stop them toggling their setting just long enough to fire off a missive before closing down PMs again.

However, I dont really see the problem, to be frank. Sounds to me like someone so obviously jumping through those hoops (of either permutation) is inviting a ban of some form or other.

If someone does refuse to receive PMs but continue to send you objectionable messages then report them to the community team - it seems to me its going to be the easiest moderation job ever. (I'm sure PMs are accessible to the paizo tech team, even if they dont make a habit of reading them).

Scarab Sages

Steve Geddes wrote:
(I'm sure PMs are accessible to the paizo tech team, even if they dont make a habit of reading them).

That itself bothers me...I've wondered about it, and I think even asked moderators (albeit within the context of other issues), but haven't gotten a response if so. if Paizo's walking the knife-edge of NSA territory like that, then that would really piss me off.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
Even if it were as you suggest, nothings going to stop them toggling their setting just long enough to fire off a missive before closing down PMs again.

When you receive a PM, there's a button at the bottom for blocking the sender.

If you click that button, that person can't send you any more PMs.


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CrystalSeas wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Even if it were as you suggest, nothings going to stop them toggling their setting just long enough to fire off a missive before closing down PMs again.

When you receive a PM, there's a button at the bottom for blocking the sender.

If you click that button, that person can't send you any more PMs.

Oh, I didn’t know that.

In that case there’s even less of an issue, as far as I can see. We’re each empowered to solve the problem the OP is concerned about, no?


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Steve Geddes wrote:
In that case there’s even less of an issue, as far as I can see. We’re each empowered to solve the problem the OP is concerned about, no?

If all you want to do is stop hearing from that person, yes.

It's a bit more fiddly if you want to report their behavior to staff.

I'm also pretty sure that Paizo staff can investigate harassing PMs. So it's unlikely that all our PMs are encrypted.


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CrystalSeas wrote:
I'm also pretty sure that Paizo staff can investigate harassing PMs. So it's unlikely that all our PMs are encrypted.

I generally assume any software provider who allows me to send messages is able to read them if they want to (though presumably it's rare).

Scarab Sages

Steve Geddes wrote:
I generally assume any software provider who allows me to send messages is able to read them if they want to (though presumably it's rare).

They'd better not. Talk about a betrayal of trust and free speech-inhibitor....


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Per the FAQ about who owns comments, I have always understood messages as including forum posts as well as PM.

-- david


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Papa-DRB wrote:

Per the FAQ about who owns comments, I have always understood messages as including forum posts as well as PM.

-- david

Yeah, me too.

Scarab Sages

Papa-DRB wrote:

Per the FAQ about who owns comments, I have always understood messages as including forum posts as well as PM.

-- david

I know about that; it's why I don't share my myriad homebrewed ideas; but PRIVATE messages are PRIVATE, dammit; if Paizo doesn't respect that, they're no better than Cambridge Analytica or whatever particularly given that above FAQ, which is (shall we say) Asmodean enough as is.


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I’d suggest emailing community@paizo.com and explicitly asking them if they ever read PMs. Then you’ll know for sure and can make use of the feature appropriately.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
they're no better than Cambridge Analytica

There's a really huge difference between Paizo staff reading a PM to help administer the site (ie, investigate harassment and abuse clames), and selling that information to a third party, which is what Facebook did.

Scarab Sages

CrystalSeas wrote:
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
they're no better than Cambridge Analytica
There's a really huge difference between Paizo staff reading a PM to help administer the site (ie, investigate harassment and abuse clames), and selling that information to a third party, which is what Facebook did.

I suppose you could draw the line there, but quis custodiet ipsos custodes? PMs should be "P", don't you think? Just because I want to share something with a particular individual I know through a company's website doesn't necessarily mean the company itself is invited.

Steve Geddes wrote:
I’d suggest emailing community@paizo.com and explicitly asking them if they ever read PMs. Then you’ll know for sure and can make use of the feature appropriately.

Trouble is, I think I've done that - or at least, I've posed that question and others to moderators while talking with them for other reasons, which ought to be the same thing, shouldn't it (and if not, why didn't they at least say "please redirect question X to resource Y")?


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
PMs should be "P", don't you think?

No. People should not be able to send abusive messages without the site owners being able to investigate.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
they're no better than Cambridge Analytica
There's a really huge difference between Paizo staff reading a PM to help administer the site (ie, investigate harassment and abuse clames), and selling that information to a third party, which is what Facebook did.
I suppose you could draw the line there, but quis custodiet ipsos custodes? PMs should be "P", don't you think? Just because I want to share something with a particular individual I know through a company's website doesn't necessarily mean the company itself is invited.

I think “should” is just whatever the company offers. If they say they can’t read PMs that should be the case. If they say they can but rarely do then that should be the case.

I agree you should be able to find out, but I don’t accept that a company doesn’t have the right to offer whatever messaging system it wants, under whatever conditions it wants.

Quote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I’d suggest emailing community@paizo.com and explicitly asking them if they ever read PMs. Then you’ll know for sure and can make use of the feature appropriately.
Trouble is, I think I've done that - or at least, I've posed that question and others to moderators while talking with them for other reasons, which ought to be the same thing, shouldn't it (and if not, why didn't they at least say "please redirect question X to resource Y")?

Well, I think it’s better to include it as a stand-alone issue if you want a clear answer. Also the community moderation team/structure has gone through many iterations - you may have more luck getting an answer now than previously.

I don’t have any other suggestions, I’m afraid. I think Sara Marie And Vic Wertz are the most likely people to express an answer and emailing community@paizo.com is the best way to bring it to their attention (granted you can’t compel a response).

In the meantime, I’d assume they can read PMs, if I were you and only send messages you’re comfortable with under that condition.

Scarab Sages

CrystalSeas wrote:
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
PMs should be "P", don't you think?
No. People should not be able to send abusive messages without the site owners being able to investigate.

Riiiiiight...because only the guilty have anything to hide. Honestly, the more times I read your reply there, the more horrified I get.

In instances like that, the targeted party need only share what was received - that's different from Big Brother being able to snoop on anyone's PMs without the message owners' awareness or permission. I should think it would be easy to have an "invitation-only" system for PMs.

Steve Geddes wrote:
I agree you should be able to find out, but I don’t accept that a company doesn’t have the right to offer whatever messaging system it wants, under whatever conditions it wants.

Doesn't that strike you as a wee bit authoritarian? Remember: If it does or doesn't sound good when a nation-state does it, then the same goes for a corporation (or a church, or a labor union, or a social club, etc etc etc).


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I agree you should be able to find out, but I don’t accept that a company doesn’t have the right to offer whatever messaging system it wants, under whatever conditions it wants.
Doesn't that strike you as a wee bit authoritarian? Remember: If it does or doesn't sound good when a nation-state does it, then the same goes for a corporation (or a church, or a labor union, or a social club, etc etc etc).

I disagree very strongly.

A company is offering a service - you take it or leave it, but you’re not obligated to use it and they’re not obligated to provide it. A state DOES have obligations to provide services to its citizens and we ARE required to utilise those services to some degree (defined by the state).

I think they’re totally different situations.

If a company says “hey we’ll send messages for you but we may look at those messages” You don’t send things you don’t want them to read or you use a different messaging service entirely. You can’t opt out of the rules set by the state you live in.

Scarab Sages

Steve Geddes wrote:

I think they’re totally different situations.

If a company says “hey we’ll send messages for you but we may look at those messages” You don’t send things you don’t want them to read or you use a different messaging service entirely. You can’t opt out of the rules set by the state you live in.

Of course you can, you are "free" to move somewhere else - do you not remember the '000s, when any opposition to the George W Bush agenda was met with "if you don't like it, move to France" (pardon me if my assuming you're an American turns out wrong, but it's not like that line is never heard elsewhere in the world)?

What you're saying is a fallacy that's been repudiated chapter and verse in a hundred-thousand different ways by a hundred-thousand different people (not to mention the impersonal lessons of history itself). I happen to have earned a social studies degree (and not from a 'diploma mill' or 'party school', either); even if I'm too exhausted to reply here with a Master's thesis, my positions on matters like this are due a great deal more credence than most people's.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I think they’re totally different situations.

If a company says “hey we’ll send messages for you but we may look at those messages” You don’t send things you don’t want them to read or you use a different messaging service entirely. You can’t opt out of the rules set by the state you live in.

Of course you can, you are "free" to move somewhere else - do you not remember the '000s, when any opposition to the George W Bush agenda was met with "if you don't like it, move to France" (pardon me if my assuming you're an American turns out wrong, but it's not like that line is never heard elsewhere in the world)?

What you're saying is a fallacy that's been repudiated chapter and verse in a hundred-thousand different ways by a hundred-thousand different people (not to mention the impersonal lessons of history itself). I happen to have earned a social studies degree (and not from a 'diploma mill' or 'party school', either); even if I'm too exhausted to reply here with a Master's thesis, my positions on matters like this are due a great deal more credence than most people's.

I disagree still but it isn’t terribly relevant (I’m Australian, fwiw). The “if you don’t like it move somewhere else...” retort is, in fact, a non-option for the vast majority of the world’s citizens. Almost everyone can’t opt out - only the privileged few of us have a choice of state.

My point is the company says: “here’s what we’re offering, here’s the conditions - use it if you like”. You then choose to use it or not depending on whether you agree with the offered terms.

There’s not some obligation on a gaming company to provide a private messaging service within objective parameters of privacy/security the way a state has a moral obligation to respect its citizens’ rights to privacy and freedom of speech. The company has to operate within the law, but it doesn’t owe anyone a service they want.

Scarab Sages

Steve Geddes wrote:
I disagree still but it isn’t terribly relevant (I’m Australian, fwiw). The “if you don’t like it move somewhere else...” retort is, in fact, a non-option for the vast majority of the world’s citizens. Almost everyone can’t opt out - only the privileged few of us have a choice of state.

I think you might be missing my point, which is precisely that "you're free to move" is NOT a reasonable expectation except for the truly filthy rich; who is this "us" you speak of?

It is absolutely the same principle; as I said above, the dividing distinctions between one flavor of organization and another is ultimately an arbitrary illusion - what's also important is that the whole idea of "the private sector" relies on the assumption that most of the world - even more critically perhaps, most of A PERSON'S LIFE - is still in the "public sector" somehow. Look around you - how much do you see that isn't privately owned anymore? The once-promising Internet frontier is mostly (maybe even entirely) gone; today's "public forums" are not public at all, they're the property of private corporations that use that use your very reasoning to say "it's not tyranny when we do it" - but if everything is privately owned (as it now pretty much is), the "moral obligations" of nation-states are worthless, unless they get extended to the entities that actually calling the shots in the contemporary world.

Getting back to specifics, does Paizo.com not like to think of itself a "community?" Do not many regulars on here also view it that way, even going so far as to refer to themselves as "Paizonians"? Obstacles to moving are not limited to money and real estate; people have put down roots here, made connections, lives, and investments both monetary and social; saying you must choose between your basic rights and the more tangible realities of your life and what you live it for is not only unreasonable, it's disingenuous and cruel. How much more clear do I need to make this? When a "company" becomes a "community", the question of who owns it ceases to be so simple.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
...How much more clear do I need to make this?...

You’re being clear, I just disagree (quite strongly). I don’t think a nation state and a gaming company are comparable in any but the most broad strokes of analyses.

Please don’t feel any pressure to respond though. I’m only really replying to keep your post at the top of the forum in the hopes someone in the know can be clear about what actually happens wrt accessing users’ private messages. In terms of practical suggestions, your best bet for an explicit answer is to email community@paizo.com.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I disagree still but it isn’t terribly relevant (I’m Australian, fwiw). The “if you don’t like it move somewhere else...” retort is, in fact, a non-option for the vast majority of the world’s citizens. Almost everyone can’t opt out - only the privileged few of us have a choice of state.
I think you might be missing my point, which is precisely that "you're free to move" is NOT a reasonable expectation except for the truly filthy rich; who is this "us" you speak of?

I did find this odd, fwiw. This was my point, which I thought you were disagreeing with.

You bolded this part of my post:

I wrote:
You can’t opt out of the rules set by the state you live in.

And replied in bold yourself:

You wrote:
Of course you can

Was that sarcasm? I really didn’t pick up on it, if that’s the case.

Anyhow, my point was that you can’t opt out of submitting to the rules of whatever state you live in. You can opt out of using Paizo’s private messaging service. I think that distinguishing feature is very relevant in terms of the limitations government should be constrained by versus the allowable conditions Paizo attaches to the use of the service they’re offering.


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Here is the FAQ on Private Messages. This might be the germane bit:

Quote:

Will Paizo staff read my private messages?

Your private messages are considered private, however messages may be reviewed by Paizo staff or disclosed to appropriate law enforcement agencies if required to do so by law, or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to investigate abuse or ensure personal safety.

Scarab Sages

Okay! That's useful.

It sounds like Paizo is trying to bind its staff from snooping on us, but not far beyond the "honor system" - now, public libraries/Mohammed Yunus's microbanking enterprise/Pie Town, NM may all be uplifting examples of the honor system's surprising integrity, but I'm afraid I no longer see Paizo as being in that league of institutions (it's far too jacked into the Evil hivemind that is the corporate-TwitBook-dominated Internet 2.0) - so this is something, but as I no longer trust Paizo to dependably act "in good faith", as that one part puts it, I want more assurance.

Again, I think what should work would be that Paizo would be locked out of our PMs short of conditional permission from ONE PMing party - i.e., if two people were exchanging PMs, and one wanted to protest mistreatment by the other, it would only take the one of the two PMers in question to formally permit Paizo access to BOTH parties' PMs (since everything sent by one is received by the other, and vice versa). That way, if the other party were truly a deceitful nogoodnik folk-goblin sort, they couldn't prevent their target from exposing them, but Paizo would only be able to look into PMs with the permission of a private user.

That make sense?

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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The privacy of our paizo.com community is something we take incredibly seriously and paizo.com private messages are accessible to a very small subset of Paizo employees operating with specific roles within the company. The roles that require the ability to access users private messages on paizo.com require background checks. The ability to moderate forum posts does not grant the ability to review other user's private messages. When the private messaging system was built, we were very intentional and careful about considering the situations, such as investigating issues of harassment, or other illegal activities, which would require access to private messages, seeking the appropriate balance between user privacy and the safety of our community members. I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you have further questions or concerns, and while I may not be able to answer them, I will always take any concerns or questions about user privacy with the serious consideration this subject deserves.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Again, I think what should work would be that Paizo would be locked out of our PMs short of conditional permission from ONE PMing party - i.e., if two people were exchanging PMs, and one wanted to protest mistreatment by the other, it would only take the one of the two PMers in question to formally permit Paizo access to BOTH parties' PMs (since everything sent by one is received by the other, and vice versa). That way, if the other party were truly a deceitful nogoodnik folk-goblin sort, they couldn't prevent their target from exposing them, but Paizo would only be able to look into PMs with the permission of a private user.

Both professionally and personally I have a keen interest in privacy issues, including how government, business, or personal matters overlaps and intersect. I think it's a good thing to be asking questions and thinking about this kind of stuff.

With regards to the suggestion you had above, there are unfortunately situations in which that solution does not work.

Scarab Sages

Sara Marie wrote:
...paizo.com private messages are accessible to a very small subset of Paizo employees operating with specific roles within the company. The roles that require the ability to access users private messages on paizo.com require background checks. The ability to moderate forum posts does not grant the ability to review other user's private messages.

This much was useful, at least (the rest was too vague or standard to mean much, frankly). Thanks for checking in.

Since you bring it up, I will ask this about your background checks: Do they consider a background in/significant voluntary affiliation with law enforcement/military/natsec a 'plus' or a 'minus'? I'll give you one guess as to which answer I sincerely hope it is.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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I can't really speak to that beyond my experience hiring for my own department, and as far as that is concerned: we're a company that publishes roleplaying games, people with "significant affiliation with law enforcement/military/natsec" are not coming in droves to apply for CSR positions here.

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