locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups


I hear David's concerns about messages that go beyond just embarrassing and that could violate privacy. We have these concerns in our group too. This is one reason we moderate every single message. It's also how I know how many accidental replies to group we get (in our Y! group), they are obvious in our pending queue and our mods have a boiler plate message that's sent to the author asking them to verify if indeed the message was intended for the group or private as it would seem. This is how I know the way Y! has it isn't effective at preventing mix-ups all together. That boiler plate gets used often, as in 4-5 times each week. So lots to learn about the "wrong" way to do it from Y!'s overly complicated method which forces you to expand headers to have a choice to bypass the group default reply.

Our group is lucky to have mods though. How can we help groups that don't have them? Maybe in a group that can't have mods, and where there are potential serious legal issues if a reply goes to group, there could be an optional extra level of security that the admin can require users to agree to each time they select "reply to group"? I think mistakes will be made either way this interface decides to go, and if it's a real legal issue, and there aren't any mods, maybe those groups require more help from the system to help relieve them from any potential liability too.

We have a test group currently on groups.io, so while we haven't seen if the the way the reply buttons are here will reduce our instances of mix-ups in a large group, our test group hasn't yet expressed confusion or concern about the way they are set up now - but I've now asked them again to give this much more thought. It's a diverse group of users - seasoned users and ones with no experience of groups at all.

This morning I was showing this issue to someone who has never used groups before despite being old enough to have been around since they started. I showed them the way groups.io currently does it and the way Y! does it. Obviously the way Y! does it felt perplexing and complicated - no surprise. But what really floored me and it's worth sharing here as it would never have occurred to me, is that this person thought that the "reply to sender" was a reply online ( not a private offline email) but indented in the way that facebook allows you to reply to a comment so that only the author of the comment is notified of that reply and your reply comment has to be expanded in order to be viewed (or discourse also sort of has this where replies to a person are still online but collapsed in a thread). Wow! When I explained that, no, reply to sender was an offline email, I had to explain it 2x and it felt like a foreign concept to this person.

I wanted to share that because for those of us who are seasoned group users so much feels intuitive. Whereas this person was saying that it should say "Private message" or something else in order for him to "get" that it would generate on offline comment. I would never have thought of that. Maybe it's relevant - maybe it's not... but worth sharing.


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