Member Chat

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Members use Chat to communicate with each other about a post/transaction. Volunteers do not have access to these chats, but if a problem arises the Support Team can be asked to have a look to see if they can find any information to resolve it.


The background and reasons for not giving all volunteers access to this is :

It was pointed out by a volunteer that there was a potential issue, since this constitutes interception of communication under the PECR legislation, which covers people reading communications between other people.

Edward therefore contacted the Office of the Interception of Communications Commissioner, who was at that time the regulator of this area (it has now been absorbed into the ICO). Their job was normally to check that the police were doing legal things with warrants - for example they have a tool that spots cut and paste text in interception warrants.

To Edward's surprise, a guy came and sat in his living room to talk to him about it. They discussed the various circumstances under which it was and wasn't legitimate to do this for Freegle, and agreed that it was legitimate that in order to protect the system against spammer and scammer attacks.

If a member reports a conversation then that is also a legit reason. It's best when they use the Report option on chat - which also means we have a record of that consent.

However a more general ability for volunteers to "spy" on the communications between members without their knowledge or consent, and without any specific reason, was much more dubious.

So there are legitimate legal reasons why we need to be careful here. If volunteers can get one of the members to use the Report option then they will be able to see the whole of the chat. If not, then Support can help.


List of types of chat messages

These are the types of chat message and when they’re generated.

  • “Default” - the normal ones you type.
  • “ModMail” - messages sent by mods to members.
  • “System” - not used
  • “Interested” - when you reply to a post, including the text you typed
  • “Promised” - when you click the Promise button to promise to someone
  • “Reneged” - when you click the Unpromise button.
  • “ReportedUser” - sent to mods when you’ve reported a chat
  • “Completed” - when you mark a post as TAKEN/RECEIVED (the one you mention below).
  • “Image” - when you send a photo.
  • “Address” - when you use the address book to send an address
  • “Nudge” - when you click the Nudge button.
  • “Schedule” and “ScheduleUpdated”- when you set/update your availability.


Link: ModTools