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[answered] Are PMs really private?

 
 
TTH
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 05:13 am
I heard that Smile
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 05:16 am
Butrflynet wrote:
Psssst! Hey Phoenix....


You didn't hear this from me, but I heard that Timber wears combat boots to bed. Pass it on!


Gee! I never noticed!!! :wink: Laughing
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 05:49 am
Sorry it took me so long to respond to this topic, as I was too busy reading everyone's PMs.

By the way, get the rash checked out.
Don't tell your husband.
Bluebird in the 5th race at Santa Anita.
Buy the stock tomorrow, when orange juice futures rise.

You all know who you are. :wink:

Okay now, the real story.

We cannot read your PMs. If we could, we wouldn't anyway, as about a million other things take precedence. Pulling spam does not happen automatically. Someone has to do it. The Help Desk is not answered automatically. Someone has to do it. Etc. etc. etc. We do a lot of things on the site that people may not notice at all, like help with logging in, clean up the Portal and deal with Amazon, etc. We work on user names, check out flame reports and investigate spammers and pornographers in an effort to not only deal with what comes on the site but also prevent it from getting here at all. There's more, of course, but I have to actually get to my job some time this morning.

I do not know what you believe you have seen that is convincing you that your PMs are being read by this site's Administrative Team. If you would share it, either here or on the Help Desk, perhaps we could investigate and explain that. Sometimes perceptiveness (after all, we have been doing this for about five years, plus before that, I modded chat rooms, and other Admins have prior experience) may seem like it's a sign of something more sinister. But it's not. It's just us knowing our members and us knowing how to run the site.

If you are sending PMs and people are revealing them to each other, then I'm sorry but that doesn't mean Admins are reading the PMs. It means you should take it up with the folks who are actually doing the reading. BTW, there aren't a lot of Admins on the site. Are you suggesting that Craven or I are reading your PMs? Sorry, but he's in Costa Rica and I have a job, a family and enough of a life outside of A2K that I wouldn't have the time to do such things even if I wanted to.

Plus, what does that say about your opinion of our ethics, our character? I pride myself -- I pride our entire Mod/Admin team -- on not taking things personally, but I have to say, it does feel quite a bit personal. We're not made of stone, and it's not pleasant to have someone claiming such things are happening, when they are not. These teams work very, very hard, and for nothing. Nada, zip, zilch. Money made off the site (ads, etc.) is pumped right back in for development. No one's driving a fancy car off A2K. We do this because we love the site and we love the people on it.

I have to go to work.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 06:54 am
Jespah,

Don't take it personally. Everyone here appreciates A2K and all of the work it takes to keep it running as the interesting place it is.

I am a bit curious about the technical side. Are serious that you can't read personal message-- meaning it is technically impossible? If this is the case it would be a technical feat... meaning strong encryption with a one way key, etc. etc. and, with no disrespect meant... I am not sure that this is technically possible. Anyone who has access to the database can read the content of the messages and, unless extraordinary technical steps have been taken, this opens up personal messages.

That being said... I don't think anyone doubts the ethics of the administrators. I was making the philosophical point that I wouldn't consider it unethical for administrators to read my PM's unless they gave me the express promise that they wouldn't. I don't think that the adjective in "Private Message" is a guarantee that no one will read it. It is merely a description of a feature.

But, if you or any adminstrator says they don't read messages... I absolutely trust this.

But the main point I am making is this....

You should assume that NOTHING is private on the internet... unless you have very clear reasons to prove that it is. If you live with this axiom, you will will have a much happier and more fulfilling life.

And I stand by my point that on an unencrypted public internet site-- even with the completely ethical administrators that run the site and a guarantee that no one will read anyone elses messages, these messages still aren't very "private" (in the security sense of the word).

As an off the cuff suggestion, it wouldn't hurt to change the name of the feature to "personal message" to get rid of the false impression of security.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 06:58 am
ebrown_p- I agree. I have full confidence in the integrity of the administrators of this site. I do think though, that, especially for newbies, they need to know, that on the internet, unless it is encrypted, NOTHING is really private.

I just had another thought. Even if something is encrypted, who's to say what happens when an encrypted message gets to its destination. Who knows what scuttlebutt goes on at a bank, or a broker's office? ("Hey, do you know that Charlie just made 3 million bucks on an IPO") Laughing
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 07:04 am
And also, quite clearly marked on each PM we receive, is a report button....in case one receives one that is spam, offensive or breaches TOS.


Also, recipients and writers of PMs may, should they so desire, as with posts and emails, copy them and send them to others.
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 09:17 am
Not combat boots - they're loggers.
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 09:23 am
tryingtohelp wrote:
Well, shouldn't private mean "private"?


Oh for gods sake.

You are being so ridiculous right now.

Private means simply that the rest of the community does not have direct access to it. It means that it isn't posted publically on the forum.

If the information that was private got out, it got out because the person who you sent this "private" information to opened their big mouth.

Sheesh. Get over it. This is the internet. If you want complete privacy I suggest you don't tell anyone anything ever.
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 09:23 am
I agree with ebrown and Phoenix.

And thanks again, jes, for doing the wonderful, thankless job you do here on A2K. It is appreciated by all of those of us here who recognize the sacrifice you make personally to make the A2K experience better for everyone.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 09:34 am
Ticomaya wrote:
I agree with ebrown and Phoenix.


I doubt you have ever said that before (outside of a private message that is).
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 09:52 am
ebrown_p wrote:
Ticomaya wrote:
I agree with ebrown and Phoenix.


I doubt you have ever said that before (outside of a private message that is).


I was thinking the same thing ... although I'm sure I've agreed with Phoenix a time or two in the past.

:wink:
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 09:55 am
Personally, I agree with Bella.

(OK I agree with most everyone but I like how Bella said it.)
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 10:10 am
It's the hormones.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 10:11 am
Bella rules!


[size=7]but don't tell anyone I said that[/size]
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kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 10:15 am
I think TTH had a legitimate question. I realize that we all know how great things are here and how wonderful the mods and administrative people are, but she doesn't, and she's asking a simple question that she doesn't understand. So why is everyone getting on her case about it? She has her answer now anyway, so I guess it doesn't matter. I just wanted to defend her, because everyone else here seems to want to disparage her just for being concerned about something that makes sense to be concerned about.
0 Replies
 
gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 10:17 am
Where'd ya get the meth, kicky?
0 Replies
 
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 10:18 am
Meth? How'd you know about that? Have you been reading my PMs, you sneaky bastard?!
0 Replies
 
TTH
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 10:25 am
Ticomaya wrote:
I agree with ebrown and Phoenix.

And thanks again, jes, for doing the wonderful, thankless job you do here on A2K. It is appreciated by all of those of us here who recognize the sacrifice you make personally to make the A2K experience better for everyone.


Kiss up Smile
0 Replies
 
TTH
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 10:27 am
kickycan wrote:
I think TTH had a legitimate question. I realize that we all know how great things are here and how wonderful the mods and administrative people are, but she doesn't, and she's asking a simple question that she doesn't understand. So why is everyone getting on her case about it? She has her answer now anyway, so I guess it doesn't matter. I just wanted to defend her, because everyone else here seems to want to disparage her just for being concerned about something that makes sense to be concerned about.


Thank you. Are you a knight in shining armour or was that Gus who wrote that in a pm?
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 10:29 am
It takes 8 pages for someone to realize that nothing on the internet is private? How hard is it to understand?

The question was answered in the first response post.
0 Replies
 
 

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