(As discussed here)

Despite Jeff being against it, I suspect that people are going to carry on asking for private/direct messaging. The main reason invoked that I have seen is being able to send other people 'private' contact details.

I think that if you satisfy that need, it might remove some of the strength of the demand.

Idea: people could enter their contact details once in their profile, then you'd have a special syntax/button for making them visible to a specific user.

(This is more of a feature-suggestion than a feature-request, but I didn't want to create another tag)

2 Answers 2



Anything that involves the ability for users to communicate privately opens a huge can of worms – legal issues, social issues, technical issues, etc.

And there are enough ways to exchange email addresses even if you absolutely don't want to post it anywhere public:

  • "I follow you on Twitter, follow me back and I'll DM you my contacts"
  • "I've created a throw-away email address, send me a mail there"
  • "[here](http://link) is my public key, encrypt your email address and post it here"

You can already (sort of) do this:

  1. Find an old post authored by the intended recipient
  2. Add a comment with the information you want
  3. Remove the comment when the recipient has confirmed receiving the message (ideally as soon as possible)

There are only a couple things to watch out for:

  1. Don't attempt this near the time of the next data dump (currently only at the end of the month), otherwise the comment will be in there if it's not deleted
  2. The comment shows up publicly in the question, but also in your public activity page
  • 2
    Thats such a ridiculous work around. *sigh, another feature request that never gets implemented or turned down with a good reason.
    – TheLQ
    Aug 10, 2010 at 1:46
  • @Lord: Yeah, I know, but it's probably the most private way to get the job done in a very public system.
    – Jon Seigel
    Aug 10, 2010 at 2:59
  • The most private way to get the job done with the current public system.
    – Benjol
    Aug 10, 2010 at 5:34
  • @Benjol: Yes. My point was that Jeff is pretty adamant about keeping everything in the system public.
    – Jon Seigel
    Aug 10, 2010 at 16:59
  • he was also adamant about not having meta, and now we've even got chat. Democracy (or the idiot masses if you prefer) may yet prevail.
    – Benjol
    Aug 11, 2010 at 5:18

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