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Any way to send a personal message to another user?

The stackoverflow conversations are oriented around questions, but I think some conversations could be more productive on a personal basis with the question context removed.

The one example that I did come up with is that you would like to interact with a user directly. You do not want to misuse a question as your discussion board.

I think this channel should be public. Back room discussion have more disadvantages than advantages.

  • What conversations are you talking about?
    – random
    Commented Oct 3, 2009 at 5:33
  • Where do you tell someone that (you think) he misbehaved without misusing a question in Stackoverflow. Commented Oct 3, 2009 at 5:48

2 Answers 2


Judging from your comment, you are looking to discipline other users without muddying the SO question. There are channels to do this built into the system. Specifically, you can flag a question, an answer, or even a comment for administrator action. This is the appropriate action in these cases.

In other cases, you should respect your fellow users' right to privacy. You will find that some users are up for contact from other SO users, and if so, they post their contact details in their profile. If you are up for such contact, I urge you to post your IM/email/etc in your profile.

  • But you cannot flag every incorrect comment or answer. Commented Oct 3, 2009 at 18:26
  • true, but you have the ability to downvote incorrect answers (with a comment as to why if you need to be explicit. for incorrect or otherwise bothersome comments, you have the ability to comment in response.
    – akf
    Commented Oct 3, 2009 at 18:38

One of the core ideas of StackOverflow is that it is community based. Adding "private channels" or "private messaging" as a feature would be a large step toward destroying this. It certainly doesn't encourage the collaboration and wiki-like aspect that we hope for in the site. At worst, you could start seeing a lot of the new users private-messaging other users with questions instead of asking them publicly. (Jon Skeet, for one, would be liable to be spammed endlessly.) If you have a disagreement of some sort, the comment section is usually the right place, as long as it doesn't get too out of hand.

  • Personal channel != private channel. I meant a public user related channel to keep the answer related channel clean. This kind of user-related feedback has nothing to do with the question you suggest to comment. Commented Oct 3, 2009 at 18:24

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