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How can I contact another user, if that user has not specified any contact details in their profile?

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  • 4
    If we charge 2 reputation per direct message, that would address some of the concerns listed below.
    – Evorlor
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 12:33
  • 3
    @Evorlor I would pay 20 rep for the first message ever, to combat spam and problems. I could wait for that privilege/power. I do not necessarily want any random user to be able to PM me (well, the symbolism of a private message at least) on first pass. Maybe afer the 20 you can revert to 2 if the user is able to make sense enough to pass the filters and has a lot to say, then I would not want to penalize such users for being talkative. That way we preserve the original intent of the authors of Stackexchange, while at the same time giving features that are standard for major social networks. Commented Apr 25, 2021 at 2:01
  • 3
    Maybe even more costly (100 or even more?), but recipients might accept the message as valuable in which case the costs are paid back?
    – Aconcagua
    Commented Oct 26, 2021 at 13:24
  • It would make more sense to simply put a rep requirement to direct messages rather than making the first one very expensive. Commented Feb 13, 2023 at 7:55
  • We definitely need a way to message other users directly.
    – Pie
    Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 22:44

3 Answers 3

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Instant messaging or private messaging is not available: requests to implement that have been declined to keep focus on questions and answers, and to keep those visible to everyone.

Some users are active in chat, and you might be able to set up a "one-on-one" chat room for you and the user you'd like to contact by visiting their user profile on chat and clicking the "start a new room with this user" button. (Note that the room will not be private -- if you have enough reputation, you can make it so that others cannot post messages in the room, but others will still be able to read the messages):

Random user

Then, if you have at least 1,000 reputation, change the room parameters to Gallery mode. If the user has never logged on to Stack Exchange Chat but has a Stack Overflow profile, you might also try on Stack Overflow Chat.

One might use comment replies to notify a user of a comment. But remember: even comments should be relevant to the post, and can be flagged as noise if they are not, so this is not recommended.

In rare cases where immediate action is necessary (e.g., the user has accidentally left login credentials in a post), you can flag for moderator attention and explain what the urgent matter is about.

On the flip side, if you want to provide a way for people to contact you, leave contact information in your user profile.

See also: How can I start a chat with a particular user?

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    Sounds needlessly complicated to have to go through all this pain to message someone. Sometimes when I find someone on a site that has a common interest with me, I just want to say hi, not give them an answer that I'm withholding from the rest of the community.
    – Jack Pan
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 19:06
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    How do we find a user in chat? For instance, if someone visits my profile in Meta SE, how would they find me in chat?
    – Stevoisiak
    Commented Apr 16, 2017 at 17:22
  • 1
    Is there a way to tell if a user is currently online? It's hard to coordinate chat if they are offline doing something else.
    – posfan12
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 14:57
  • This answer shows a user page, with no indication of how to find that user page. Is there some URL for it? Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 16:04
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    @MaxLi From my point of view, it's needfully complex. Without exception, every time someone wanted a one-on-one chat with me, it was to request my help solving their programming problem. We already have SO for that. And if it's off topic for SO, chances are I can't help with it anyhow. I consider the difficulty of starting a chat with someone to be a feature. Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 22:16
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    echoing @StevenM.Vascellaro, I can't figure out how to tell if a particular user uses Chat, if they aren't among the active users at this very moment.
    – Sparr
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 4:06
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    I really don't see any good reason not to have a simple "message" option ... if someone abuses it etc can always have a block option or whatever..
    – SheppLogan
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 15:29
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    requests to implement that have been declined to keep focus on questions and answers, and to keep those visible to everyone - that explanation does not make sense because you still can get the answer on chat?
    – Wodzu
    Commented Apr 20, 2022 at 13:08
  • How much reputation one must have in order to make it so that others cannot post messages in the room? Commented Oct 27, 2023 at 22:14
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You can still see the "About Me" section of users' profiles. Often, users place links to Twitter, Github, and their personal website. By checking out these links, you can often see email addresses. Also, many users place their emails and Linked In profile links in their publicly available "About Me" section, especially if they are interested in networking.

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I once found a way to contact another user in private.

The procedure is simple. We exchanged out twitter accounts in a chat session and followed each other. Then using Twitter's private chat function, we managed to exchange more contact methods.

It's really safe since if someone else followed your Twitter you can simply ignore him and send your message to the one you want to contact.

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    That's... quite obvious. Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 6:58
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    While it might seem fairly obvious, it is a decent suggestion. Commented Feb 13, 2023 at 7:59

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