The providers of the communication platform Slack introduced a new feature and had to withdraw it within a few hours. The reason for this was probably a very naive idea of one’s own user base.
The new function is called Slack Connect and is intended to ensure that Slack users can easily get in touch with one another beyond the boundaries of their company. It works very easily: All you need is the email address of the desired contact. You can then send your own invitation e-mail to them from Slack and after a confirmation click, the other user is also one of the available contacts, as was previously the case with the team members.
The problem here, however, was that the sender could add their own text to the message and the invitation was then sent via a central Slacks e-mail address, such as The Verge reported. This can be done if it is assumed that all users interact with one another in a civilized manner, which Slack probably assumed due to the fact that the function is primarily available to paying business users.
The Feature Is Being Rebuilt
However, this is a rather naive idea of reality on the Internet. Harassment vis-à-vis other users is hardly tied to certain prerequisites, as is well known, malicious users cannot be excluded anywhere, not even if an access barrier to a function costs a few dollars. Affected users actually had no way of protecting themselves when implementing Slack Connect: For example, users who misuse the feature cannot be blocked because the messages in question arrive via a single central email address, and so do you would block all other messages from the platform if it is blocked.
When the new function was officially presented and started, there was a corresponding amount of negative feedback. Within hours, the provider then rowed back completely and admitted an error. It was assured that they would work immediately to ensure that abuse is no longer possible. For now, Slack Connect should come back without the ability to add your own content to the invitation.
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