Slack blocks public DM ‘invite messages’ after backlash


Slack moved quickly this week to make changes to its public direct messaging feature after a backlash highlighted the potential for harassment from people sending abusive messages.

The Slack Connect DM feature, unveiled in October, became generally available to paid users of the platform on Wednesday. It enables Slack users to send an invite to someone outside of their Slack “workspace,” which, when accepted by the other party, allows direct messages to be exchanged in the chat app.

The invite is sent to the recipient’s email address with a button to “accept” the invitation. Prior to Slack’s changes, the sender could also include a text message to the recipient within the invite.

However, Twitter users quickly pointed out how the feature could be abused, with the ability to send harassing messages. Since the invite emails are sent from a single feedback@slack.com account — blocking them means all Connect DM invites are then marked as spam.

Following the backlash, Slack said it would no longer allow messages to be added to Connect DM invites, thus preventing abusive ones from being included in the invite email.

“After rolling out Slack Connect DMs this morning, we received valuable feedback from our users about how email invitations to use the feature could potentially be used to send abusive or harassing messages,” Jonathan Prince, Slack’s vice president of communications and policy, said in a Twitter post on Wednesday.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.



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