Question about Private Messages

If I understand correctly (and if I am not, please let me know) one must follow the same rules posting PMs as one would posting on the board itself. Since there are different rules for different forums, is there a particular forum’s rules that apply to PMs, or can one get away with posting “BBQ Pit” style?

PMs follow the basic rules of the board. Forum-specific rules do not apply. Pit rules do not apply. Don’t be a jerk.

Thank you.

Can you report a PM the way you can report a post?

Not that I’ve ever received anything worth reporting.

So, let’s say I’m debating someone in GD. I bow out of the debate because I do not believe that the other poster is arguing in good faith. They follow up by PMing me additional arguments. If I respond by PM, “I’m not interested in debating this with you any further because I don’t think you are arguing in good faith”, am I in violation of the rule against accusing another poster of trolling outside the pit?

PMs have the “flag this post” button. But I don’t know who it would go to - flagging thread posts go to the mods for that forum, possibly PM reports go to all the mods?.

The exact situation you describe shouldn’t be a problem. If you PM’d someone from over a GD thread to call them a dishonest troll though, that would be an issue.

Actually Flags go to all mods. We don’t generally react to flags outside our forums if it isn’t Spam or a returning Troll/Sock causing problems.

I also have a question about PMs that’s related to the OP.

In Discourse, it’s easier to add and delete participants to the private “thread”. Could someone invite all the people they agree with in a debate along with one person they don’t agree with, and post only things that the group agrees with. then disinvite the person they disagree with. Sort of like a private debate that the OP gets to decide who takes part in.

Would that be allowed?

That sounds confusing. Why invite the one person you will later be disinviting?
Sounds like a jerkish move to me so I would be leaning towards, no not allowed.
I might being missing a nuance of what you meant though.

But if a group of posters want to have a PM conversation and don’t violate any rules I see no issue.

If general board rules apply, does that mean directly insulting another poster in PMs is against the rules?

Spinoff question about PMs. When having PM exchanges with other posters, and then talking about the same topic in public posts, I’ve avoided anything resembling “person X said Y by PM bit they’re saying Z now” or anything similar, under the assumption that sharing PMed info in public is a violation of the “being a jerk” rule. Is this the case, or am I being paranoid?

I’ll try to explain, although I guess you’ve answered the question.

In the example I gave, a few people might be trying to convince someone with a different opinion to change their opinion. But if they’re not going to do that, and it’s just going to become more caustic, they might just disinvite the person so as not to run afoul of the ‘don’t be a jerk’ rule if the discussion gets too heated. Then they might discuss the topic amongst themselves.

From your answer, it sounds like that will be seen as jerkish so it won’t be allowed.

Yes. It’s against the rules.

PMs have an expectation of privacy, so you are correct. Something like this would generally break the don’t be a jerk rule.

IMHO, since PMs are in private, they should be held to a considerably looser standard than what is being posted in public on the board. Harassing, flaming or threats shouldn’t be allowed, but since it’s ostensibly just an audience of two people as opposed to an audience of thousands, it should have much more leeway. Indeed, the whole purpose of PMs is often to communicate what can’t or shouldn’t be said openly.

Well, if it is between two people, unlikely to be a problem unless one of the two does find the PMs harassing, flaming, threatening, offensive or the like. So standards would be a lot looser.

Honestly if Poster A & B both enjoy making fun of Poster C via PM but don’t PM poster C about it, well that was kept private, mods wouldn’t be involved. If A or B invited Poster C to a back and forth insulting them, C could report the situation and warnings or worse would probably be handed out.

The mods do not read PMs that aren’t to them. I know there is some way to see them, but I don’t know what it is and hope I don’t need to find out.

The flag related messages all mods see and sometime we include the poster flagging a post in the discussion with more than one mod.

I recently got a PM from a poster for a question I couldn’t answer and I use the attention tool @user to bring in the other mods for the forum and ECG for comment and so I could learn.

Better than posting in the pit, now that Discourse creates all these link-backs that flag it up to poster C.