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I run several support forums on the bbPress plugin and one of the issues I have constantly run into is how to provide a good way for users to post private information in their support threads, without having to email it or open a private ticket in a separate system. In order to solve this, I decided to write a plugin that gives users the option to mark their forum replies as private.

Rémi Corson works as part of my support team and also as an independent developer who runs his own support forum on bbPress, so I asked him to help me write the plugin.

The plugin is really simple and just provides a single checkbox at the bottom of the new reply form that allows the user posting the reply to decide if the reply should be private. If a reply is marked as private, only the reply author and the forum moderators will be able to see it; all other users will see “This reply has been marked as private”.

Users and moderators have the option to mark or unmark a reply as private at any time.

This feature is extremely useful for cases where you need users / customers to provide private URLs, login information, or any other kind of data they don’t wish to make publicly available.

If you have suggestions or bug reports for this plugin, feel free to report them on Github.

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  1. corsonr

    It’s an add-on so useful! i don’t know why there was no alternative to this plugin before!

  2. Shane Gowland

    Very useful plugin, thank you very much for sharing.

  3. Franklin

    This is perfect. Been looking for something like this for a while. Thanks.

  4. Dustin Zirkle

    Another great addition to this addon would be the ability to make specific forums default or force posts to be private outside of those who are supposed to be able to see it.

    • Pippin

      I doubt we’ll ever force replies to private, but I do plan to add a feature to enable/disable private replies on a per-forum basis.

  5. Dustin Zirkle

    Also meant to add to that last post the ability to have private topics as well.

    I know that there is something similar to these for phpBB or vB, I can’t remember which, that came in quite useful in a few circumstances.

    I believe we used it for a game for recruitment purposes, someone could post a thread(topic) with their application and only certain level and higher of members could see and reply to it.

    Anyhow great work on this so far.

    • Pippin

      Would a private topic mean that only moderators and the topic creator can post replies?

    • Dustin Zirkle

      It would mean only moderators and the author and view and/or post replies to the topic, yes.

    • Pippin

      I do really like that idea and will consider it.

  6. Kangs Passoubady

    After installing this plugin the entire blog went down, in the error_log, I’m only seeing the below error:
    PHP Fatal error: Call to undefined function bbp_get_reply_post_type() in /wp-content/plugins/bbpress-private-replies/bbp-private-replies.php on line 190

    Any help would be appreciated.

  7. Kangs Passoubady

    Ok, I’m able to solve the problem.

    commented the lines 190 and 191, then still not able to see anything, but found the below error:
    PHP Fatal error: Call to undefined function bbp_get_reply()
    then commented the line#129.
    After that point I could able to see the pages working..

    • Pippin

      What version of bbPress are you using?

  8. Haris

    Hey Pippin, thanks for the awesome plugin.

    In a recent version you fixed the thread subscribers email issue in which any user that was subscribed to the thread would get the private message in the inbox but after a lot of testing with multiple user accounts, it seems that the fix is not working. The hook seems to be not working at all.

    Please take a look and let me know if you can help!

    A hotfix would be appreciated. :)

    • Pippin

      The fix has been pushed out. Thanks for letting me know!

  9. Derek Ashauer

    Would love for admins to receive email notifications even when the message is private – doesn’t have to contain the content (since it could be important info like username/passwords) but at least an email. I have a hard time monitoring all the support threads and when someone replies with a private message I don’t get notified and thus usually don’t ever know there was a reply.

    • Pippin

      All moderators subscribed to the thread will receive an email notice.

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