If your workplace uses Slack, you’ve likely developed a Pavlovian response to hearing the notification ping reminding you that even during your lunch break, you can’t escape work. Well, here is some bad news: Slack is getting worse. Relaxed already announced in October There was a new feature for direct messaging that employees can use to communicate across organizations. That’s not bad, is it? But on Wednesday, Slack announced that You can now use any DM that pays for a Slack subscription. The company also notes that they will eventually “expand Slack Connect DM invitations to all teams, including those with free subscriptions.” All you have to do is send an invitation to the person you want to contact. If they accept, you can send them a message.
If you’re wondering what’s so bad about it, let’s explain. Slack is a safe, work-oriented space. If you invite randos, they can harass workers. And while the requirements aspect allows users to choose who can actually contact them, as we’ve seen with Zoom, anyone can create a fake name and email address to create an account and pretend like he’s someone else. The barrier between the work area and the public forum, where anyone can contact you, has disappeared. This is very alarming for vulnerable groups and opens up opportunities for racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic attacks. It’s the absolute worst time for it, and Slack should know better. But unfortunately, welcome to our upcoming nightmare.
UPDATE, 1:44 p.m. CST: In a statement too MashableJonathan Prince, vice president of communications and policy at Slack, said the company is evaluating the feature to be used to harass others. “After introducing Slack Connect DMs this morning, we received valuable feedback from our users on how email invitations to use the feature could potentially be used to send abusive or harassing messages,” Prince stated in an email to Mashable. “We’re taking immediate action to prevent this type of abuse. We’re starting today by removing the ability to customize a message when a user invites someone to join Slack Connect DMs.”