I see the thread I replied to is old, lengthy and became argumentative so thought it best to start fresh.
I’ve just spent several days working with others to set up a health-oriented education/discussion/support group only to realize that the email feeds don’t scrub individuals’ email addresses. Otherwise the functionality is exactly what we need.
If addresses can’t be scrubbed from the email feeds, then a no-email option would work well. Most similar (health) groups are web based only and people often join for short periods of time for information and support then move on - there’s no need for them to have access to everyone else’s address. Many of these users are not sophisticated enough to set up an alternate email or even realize they could be exposed. If two unknowingly related people join the.same medical condition group, they might not want each other to know for personal, work related or legal reasons. Comments were made in the earlier thread that a web only option or scrubbing email addresses would be “exclusionary”. What is “exclusionary” is that not allowing email privacy excludes people with medical conditions from participating in an educational science and experience based support group on groups.io.
It can’t be that difficult to provide code to have the system allow email replies without posting addresses (to take care of those who can’t/won’t read on the web) and to have “reply to sender” or PM’s not showing the recipient’s name - giving the recipient the opportunity to reply directly and reveal their address only if they wish to.
I totally get those who read a post and want to contact the poster directly for whatever reason. But there are situations when it can be wise to allow it to be the recipient’s choice to respond or not when someone has reached out to them and not have their email end up in the sender’s contact list. (Do you accept every Facebook friend request.)
When unwanted PM is received and is reported, a Moderator/owner can ban the sender. But I have seen someone come in despite moderation and scrape email addresses from digests then use these to mount an ongoing advertising campaign. If this were to occur with a health related group (not to say web-only is immune to break ins) it could be problematic with possible legal implications.
While I understand that groups.io might not be able to be all things to all people, making these what appear to be fairly easy changes would open groups.io to a additional genre of user groups (which anyone is free *not* to join) without affecting any current functionality.
Patti in AZ