Personal information on the BBS


I received a private message from a concerned user today, asking if, somehow, Discourse was sending out private information (real names and email addresses) in email communications (i.e., when you post and it emails your responses out to everyone).

So, I want to be clear about a few things.

  • Discourse needs your email address to email you and for authentication. This address is never given to any non-admin, and in fact, if an admin needs to check it for any reason (for example, because you emailed bbshelp@ with an administrative request, or to look for trolls or sockpuppets) this access is logged on our side. This information is removed when an account is anonymized by request.
  • Discourse will show whatever you put in your “Name” field to folks in various situations: when they look up your profile or click on your user image, or when emails are sent from posts you make. If you don’t want your name sent, do not put your name in this field. It is optional, not required, and not validated. It is also anonymized/deleted as above.

Hopefully that clears up any confusion. :slight_smile:


There is one minor edge condition here.

If you reply via email and your mail client is so weird / obscure that Discourse can’t properly parse its MIME mail format … it is unlikely, but theoretically possible, that your email address could be leaked into the posted reply due to failed parsing of “this is the body” and “this is the header” of the email.

To be clear this is very unlikely if you use any remotely common mail client, but I mention it for completeness.


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