I like the way Discourse handles private messages

Since Discourse handles private messages as threads, there doesn’t seem to be a limit on them, like there was on the old board.

That definitely helps build the community. It’s so easy to send a message to another poster, to have a side discussion or just say hi, and not worry about whether you have to clear out old messages to make room

There are some stricter limits on length, but there is a lot of (intentional) general symmetry between public and private topics.

Note that only TL2 (trust level 2) users can create group PMs though, and you must earn TL1 (trust level 1) to be able to send PMs at all… idea being to prevent casual griefing.

What was the limit? My other vbulletin board had a limit on pms, but only the most prolific posters ever ran into the limit. I wrote pms for 19 years without worrying about the limit and never came close to reaching it.

I like the functionality of the pms here a lot. I like that it’s easy to add or remove posters, for instance. The two things i don’t like are:

  1. they look so much like public posts that sometimes I’m not sure which something is, and i feel anxious that i might be posting a private thought publicly.
  2. i sometimes have trouble finding my older messages. I think the list shown is shortish, and i haven’t figured out how to search for much of anything in this software.

originally 50 private messages on vBulletin, and then increased to 500.

The trick on the old boards was to use the email notifications to store your PMs.


That assumes the techno-peasant knew about that trick.

Oh wow. On the other vBulletin site I used, the limit was in the thousands.

I just found that you can’t send the same message to two people (without doing a batch send) because the body of the message is too similar to a post you already made. So if you send someone the message–for instance-- “How are you doing?” you can’t do it again.

What if you post something else between? It might only trigger if you try to send two identical messages in a row.


It appears that, when a mod sends your private message to the other mods for review, it deletes that comment.

At least, I assume no mod would deliberately delete a PM I sent them from my record of the transaction. We don’t delete even posts that get moderated here, let alone private messages that weren’t modded.

(Because all I did was express confusion at moderation, alleging it was mistaken.)

There is an option to add or remove people from the “thread”. Maybe that removes your initial report or pm, too?

Hmm, that shouldn’t be the case. It is a common mod action to delete a post in response to a flag, though – it’s one of the buttons that is presented.

Or as @puzzlegal noted, maybe someone removed you from the PM list of participants which would make the PM unavailable to you.

You can also self-remove from PMs you don’t want to be on, plus you can disable the ability for anyone (except staff) to PM you via your user preferences, if you prefer not to be contacted via PM.