Immediately deployed, immediately corrected. Slack’s new DM Connect feature, which allowed anyone to communicate with Internet users outside of their company, quickly showed some limits, especially regarding the risks of cyber-harassment.
A few days ago, Slack deployed a series of features intended to open its intra-company messaging to employees working for different organizations. Announced last year, this novelty was supposed to allow anyone to contact you directly by direct message, even without belonging to the same company.
Reports of cyberstalking
Thanks to Connect DM, one of the new features deployed by Slack in recent days, it is now possible to send personalized invitations to any other user of the platform. The only problem is that some Internet users quickly reported cases of cyberharcèlement via the tool in question. Indeed, the DM Connect did not integrate no limit on the number of invitations that it was possible to send. Moreover, the fact of personalizing these messages would have led to some overflows. A rather problematic situation, especially since it was until now not possible for the user to filter or block these invitations, the latter being sent via a general Slack address.
Faced with criticism from Internet users, Slack finally decided to take the lead, by quickly modifying the DM Connect functionality. Asked by The Verge, the company explained through its vice-president Jonathan Prince: “We are taking immediate action to prevent this type of abuse, starting today. (…) We made a mistake during this initial deployment which is incompatible with our objectives. As always, we are grateful to everyone who spoke and we are committed to resolving this issue ”. Henceforth, it is therefore no longer possible to personalize invitation messages, and admins can choose to automatically turn off DMs for their entire organization. A first step towards more peaceful working conditions.