What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 134 Stack Exchange communities.

The moderator view of user profiles includes an "email" field with the default text "(click to show)":

enter image description here

In times past, clicking it caused it to reveal the user's email address, but this behavior seems to have changed* to taking me directly to the "contact user" page.

If this is intended, the text should be changed. Perhaps it should read "(click to contact user)".


* A reasonable change, in my opinion, as there's no reason for a moderator to use this information to contact a user outside of the Stack Exchange framework.

share|improve this question
    
I've just checked on Programmers and it does just show the e-mail address. However if you click again it does take you to the "contact user page". So are you double clicking? –  ChrisF Jan 22 '12 at 23:29
    
{*} you need it for /admin/links "Find Users by OpenId, Email, Website, or DisplayName" –  phwd Jan 22 '12 at 23:31
    
@ChrisF Yeah. It surprised me, so I tried it a few times. This was on Physics. –  dmckee Jan 22 '12 at 23:32
    
If a single click takes you directly to the "contact user" page, it usually means that user doesn't have an email address associated with their account. Does the form display their email address? –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Jan 22 '12 at 23:33
    
@BoltClock'saUnicorn: No. How does contacting a user without a email address work, anyway? –  dmckee Jan 22 '12 at 23:35
    
I posted an answer. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Jan 22 '12 at 23:37
    
@dmckee They'll see a "Message" notification next time they log into the site. –  ChrisF Jan 22 '12 at 23:37
    
Well, it appears that I've cried wolf. Sorry, all. –  dmckee Jan 22 '12 at 23:41
    
@dmckee: Nah, it's alright. This will be helpful for other mods in future. +1 –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Jan 22 '12 at 23:47
    
Yes. I learnt something tonight. –  ChrisF Jan 22 '12 at 23:52

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

If a single click takes you directly to the "contact user" page, it usually means that user doesn't have an email address associated with their account. If this is really the case, it will say "(no email available)" beneath the user card in the contact form.

In this case, the user will only be able to see your message when they next load the site, via a site notification at the top like the one we see when new messages are sent. My best guess is that they'll access and reply in a similar fashion as we do when we contact them.

Also, I'm all for changing the link text to say "(click to contact user)" or "(not available - click to contact user)", whether only for users without an email address or always.

share|improve this answer

I do see the email if I click on “(click to show)”.

I have used users' email addresses for one purpose: some sites have blogs. Would-be bloggers need to have an account created on the blog site; the account needs to be created by a blog administrator and needs to have an associated email address (to which login details will be sent). Generally site moderators are blog administrators. Most users want to use the same email address on the SE site and on the blog site. Using the on-site visible-to-mods-only email address allows users to request a blog account through a public channel (chat or meta).

The email address is also visible if you edit a user's profile. I've never done that personally, but it's happened a few times on SE, because a user's avatar is derived from their email address (via gravatar), and offensive avatars have sometimes been edited out.

share|improve this answer

If you click the "(click to show)" link before the JavaScript has fully loaded, you'll be taken to the contact page. So either you're impatient and you're clicking before the page is loaded or your browser doesn't support modern JavaScript.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .