|Private Messages are not necessarily confidential|
We offer the private message function as a convenience for our members and guests. It is not the goal of the Straight Dope Message Board to operate a mail server.
A private message is a posting intended, but not guaranteed, to be read only by the recipient you specify. Neither the moderators nor the administrators of the SDMB have any access to PMs exchanged between members, unless a PM is specifically forwarded to a moderator or administrator by either the sender or the recipient.
Although it's called a "private" message, remember that once it is sent, the sender has no more control over its further use and distribution than he or she would a public posting on the message board. There is no guarantee of privacy in these messages, and you assume the risk that any PM you send might be made public by the recipient.
Since they are treated as postings, the rules of conduct for private messages are the same as those of the general forums of the Straight Dope Message Board, starting, but not ending, with our most basic rule: Don't be a jerk.
Added September 21, 2009.