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Are private messages really private?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Discussion' started by BJE, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. BJE

    BJE Active Member

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    Are private messages in this forum and others like it really private or can they be viewed by administrators? Something that happened in another forum made me wonder if my private messages had been viewed by an administrator.
     
  2. hebsie

    hebsie Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    ...100% private to anyone with moderator status. Not sure about administrators though, but I'd assume it's the same...hebs
     
  3. BJE

    BJE Active Member

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    I just asked because I had been conversing privately with another forum member in another forum about the administrator and the next day my profile had been deleted.
     
  4. Bulldog

    Bulldog Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I know that as a moderator I cannot see anyone's PM's except my own. I have never been the admin of a vBulletin forum though, so I don't know what abilities they may have. Ryan can probably answer this question for you though. You might want to send him a PM and ask him.
     
  5. First post. (Seeing this question bothered me.) I used to admin a vbulletin site. If the admin knows their way around the mysql database they can search for and extract anything from PM's to passwords.
     
  6. Dr. John Crisler

    Dr. John Crisler Lord of the Forum Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I make sure my staff tells everyone we cannot read their PM's.
     
  7. Wise Guy

    Wise Guy Talking Monkey Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Trust me, none of us have even bothered to try. As long as you keep your behavior gentlemanly on the main board, I really have no business spying on your PMs.

    All we are concerned about is mostly the powers that be having issues with what gets posted on the main board. As long as you follow the rules there, private messages stay private.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  8. SuckarMycket

    SuckarMycket Member

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    I have some experience with phpbb and assuming it works the same way with this forum then there is 2 ways to read private messages, 1. alter the password and then login but a member will notice that something is going on when the password no longer works and requires administrator privileges and 2. read whats in the database but it requires server access and that pm's are stored in plain text format but even then it can be both difficult and time consuming.

    There is actually a third and fourth way which i have used myself to check other people's pm 3. as a moderator a member gave me his or hers password so i could login and check what had be written and then take appropriate measures due to rules being broken and 4. a function was later created so pm's could be reported without the need to give out the password.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2015

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