Slack reverses course on feature that could be used to harass

Slack reverses course on feature that could be used to harass

(Bloomberg) – Slack Technologies Inc. on Wednesday rolled out a new feature designed to expand its email replacement service called Slack Connect, but had to roll back almost immediately after a backlash about its potential for abuse.
The new Slack Connect DM (direct messaging) feature allowed paid subscribers to invite any other Slack user to a private conversation, along with their invitation with a customizable message. The problem that many pointed out on social media was that these posts could be used to direct harassment against strangers online, with no easy option to block them, as the invites come from a generic Slack address.

The company turned the tide by turning off the custom invite option and said it was taking into account the feedback it received and is committed to fixing the issue.

“We are taking immediate action to prevent this type of abuse, starting with removing the ability to personalize a message today when a user invites someone to join Slack Connect DMs,” said Jonathan Prince , vice president of communications and policy at Slack. “We made a mistake during this initial deployment that is inconsistent with our goals for the product and the typical experience of using Slack Connect.”

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