Inviting new member to a subgroup doesn't notify overall group owner #subgroups


Michael Olivier <lists@...>
 

Hi all,

We are operating a closed group for a local community. We control membership to known local residents. We have subgroups turned on and want to allow members to create subgroups. The problem we see is that those members can send invites out to non-members to join the subgroup. Those invitees can accept the invitations and be added to the subgroup and also the overall group -- with no notification going to me as the overall group owner.   Thus I have no way of monitoring membership.
 
When one adds members via Direct Add, this problem doesn't arise: One can only add members to the top-level group. 

Ideally, I could approve all such additions but at a minimum, I need a way to monitor them.

Suggestions? 

Thanks,
Michael


Duane
 

On Mon, Mar 15, 2021 at 01:46 PM, Michael Olivier wrote:
The problem we see is that those members can send invites out to non-members to join the subgroup.
Only owners (and mods with permission) should be able send invitations from the group.

Thus I have no way of monitoring membership.
You can enable the Moderation Notifications for Members and be notified when someone joins or leaves the group.  That should include those invited.

Duane
--
Lots of detailed information can be found in the Owners Manual and Members Manual.


Chris Jones
 

On Mon, Mar 15, 2021 at 08:09 PM, Duane wrote:
Only owners (and mods with permission) should be able send invitations from the group.
Yes, but that doesn't prevent anyone sending someone else an email asking if they want to join! I think we need a bit more clarity from Michael to determine what sort of invitation it is.

At the same time some further explanation about "closed group" would be helpful. In Groups.io - speak there is no such thing; a group may be restruicted inasmuch as applicants have to be approved by a moderator before they actually become members; is this what you meant, or is your group "closed" in the sense that it does not admit anyone outside the "local community"?

Chris


Michael Olivier <lists@...>
 

Thanks for your replies, Duane and Chris!

An owner of a subgroup who has no special privileges in the top level group can send an invite for someone new to join their subgroup. In my test, I found that that person could email reply to accept the invitation and also be added automatically to the top-level group. This is the problem: new person's addition causes a notification to subgroup owner but no notification to top-level group owner. 

I can't find where to check the setting for Moderation Notifications for Members, but I do get notification emails for top-level group membership changes.

By closed group, I just mean the group is unlisted and no one can join without moderator approval.

-M


Chris Jones
 

On Tue, Mar 16, 2021 at 04:38 PM, Michael Olivier wrote:
This is the problem: new person's addition causes a notification to subgroup owner but no notification to top-level group owner. 
Ah; everything is much clearer now!

If this is being done by a sub - group owner there is not much you can do; there is no Notification available for Notify me when someone joins or leaves a subgroup at "main group" level. This might be worth raising on beta as a #suggestion; it all depends on which you see as the main problem - the fact that a sub - group owner can actually do this or the fact that you receive no notification about it.

FWIW your description of "closed" means two things; (1) Not Listed in Directory and (2) Restricted group.

Chris


Andy Wedge
 

On Tue, Mar 16, 2021 at 04:38 PM, Michael Olivier wrote:
An owner of a subgroup who has no special privileges in the top level group can send an invite for someone new to join their subgroup. In my test, I found that that person could email reply to accept the invitation and also be added automatically to the top-level group. This is the problem: new person's addition causes a notification to subgroup owner but no notification to top-level group owner. 
This is by design and was introduced early in 2019 (at the request of an Enterprise group I believe). It's because of this that we do not give our subgroup Moderators the Add Member permission. We had intended to do so so that they could Direct Add members from the main group list but the introduction of this invite to a subgroup functionality scuppered our plans just before we launched.  I asked on Beta at the time about getting the Direct Add and Invite functions separated but nothing has come of that.  If you wish to raise another #suggestion there yourself you can also refer to my previous post.

Regards
Andy


Chris Jones
 

On Tue, Mar 16, 2021 at 08:15 PM, Andy Wedge wrote:
It's because of this that we do not give our subgroup Moderators the Add Member permission.
I nearly suggested that but in a sense it would be too late; the example given is that of a subgroup owner sending invitations.

I was going to carry out a couple of tests to cover my lack of detailed knowledge of subgroup operation, but someone here ought to know; where a (main) group allows members to create subgroups does a subgroup creator become its owner by default? If so it looks like quite a good reason for not allowing members to create subgroups.

Chris


Bruce Bowman
 

On Tue, Mar 16, 2021 at 05:33 PM, Chris Jones wrote:
I was going to carry out a couple of tests to cover my lack of detailed knowledge of subgroup operation, but someone here ought to know; where a (main) group allows members to create subgroups does a subgroup creator become its owner by default?
I didn't know either, so I went ahead and did the test.

Even if you enable it in settings, regular Members cannot initially make a subgroup. There simply is no subgroups option on the left-side menu to do so.

But after the main group Owner creates the first subgroup, members may then create additional ones...and they do become its Owner, can send out invitations, etc.

If so it looks like quite a good reason for not allowing members to create subgroups.
I have to admit that I don't fully understand the use case. 

Regards,
Bruce

Check out the groups.io Help Center and groups.io Owners Manual


Chris Jones
 

On Tue, Mar 16, 2021 at 09:47 PM, Bruce Bowman wrote:
I didn't know either, so I went ahead and did the test.

Even if you enable it in settings, regular Members cannot initially make a subgroup. There simply is no subgroups option on the left-side menu to do so.

But after the main group Owner creates the first subgroup, members may then create additional ones...and they do become its Owner, can send out invitations, etc.
Bruce; thanks very much for that. IMHO that looks like a major flaw; on the face of it once the ordinary member becomes a subgroup owner there may be little or nothing the main group owner can do to contain any "unwanted" situation that develops.  

Chris


Bruce Bowman
 

On Tue, Mar 16, 2021 at 06:53 PM, Chris Jones wrote:
Bruce; thanks very much for that. IMHO that looks like a major flaw; on the face of it once the ordinary member becomes a subgroup owner there may be little or nothing the main group owner can do to contain any "unwanted" situation that develops.  
Chris -- I followed up on that, too.

It takes a few steps, but the main group Owner can join the subgroup, subsequently make himself a co-Owner of it, and thus rectify any problems that may arise.

Regards,
Bruce

Check out the groups.io Help Center and groups.io Owners Manual


Chris Jones
 

On Tue, Mar 16, 2021 at 10:56 PM, Bruce Bowman wrote:
It takes a few steps, but the main group Owner can join the subgroup, subsequently make himself a co-Owner of it, and thus rectify any problems that may arise.
Thanks again! "Rectify any problems"... like turn the member - owner into a moderator without the full list of permissions.

Chris


Chris Jones
 

On Tue, Mar 16, 2021 at 10:56 PM, Bruce Bowman wrote:
Chris -- I followed up on that, too.
I've done a follow up myself on an anomaly (bug?) that I spotted yesterday.

A "certain test group" has two subgroups; while I am a moderator on the main group (along with most or all of its other members) I was not in either subgroup.

However, looking at the Home Page for either subgroup I was "badged" as Parent Owner which is clearly incorrect. I thn joined myself to one of the subgroups, whereupon the badge change to Owner; also incorrect. I then looked at my Subscription to the subgroup, where I was listed as a Member with no moderator or owner permissions. I then found my entry on the member List and was able to change my status from Member not only to Moderator but also to Owner. My Subscription page now showed my moderator permissions; my Home Page badge remained as Owner at all times. 

Do others agree that the above is at best anomalous, and my ability to promote myself to real Owner (of a subgroup, not a main one) simply wrong; in my view real ownership ought to reside with the Main group Owner, and I should not be able to do anything to usurp his position. (FWIW I didn't try that!)

If there is a concensus that the above is wrong then i will refer it to Mark on beta.

Chris


Jeremy Harrison
 

I think my categorisation of what is happening - a member being added to a (main) group, without approval by an authorised person (moderator of that group), or any notification - is #bug.

Jeremy


Duane
 

On Wed, Mar 17, 2021 at 07:40 AM, Chris Jones wrote:
Do others agree that the above is at best anomalous, and my ability to promote myself to real Owner (of a subgroup, not a main one) simply wrong; in my view real ownership ought to reside with the Main group Owner, and I should not be able to do anything to usurp his position.
I'd say that is at least an anomaly.  More than likely it's a result of the implementation of the 'mods not bring able to depose owners' fix not being carried through to the subgroup level.  I agree that only main group owners and the subgroup creator (if members are allowed to create subgroups) should be allowed to be owners of a subgroup unless promoted by one of those people.

Duane
--
Lots of detailed information can be found in the Owners Manual and Members Manual.


Duane
 

On Tue, Mar 16, 2021 at 11:38 AM, Michael Olivier wrote:
In my test, I found that that person could email reply to accept the invitation and also be added automatically to the top-level group. This is the problem: new person's addition causes a notification to subgroup owner but no notification to top-level group owner.
Since accepting an invitation from a subgroup will add the person to the main group, I would expect a Member Notification to be sent from the main group.  If that's not happening, I'd report it as a #bug.

Duane
--
Lots of detailed information can be found in the Owners Manual and Members Manual.


Bruce Bowman
 

On Wed, Mar 17, 2021 at 08:40 AM, Chris Jones wrote:
Do others agree that the above is at best anomalous, and my ability to promote myself to real Owner (of a subgroup, not a main one) simply wrong; in my view real ownership ought to reside with the Main group Owner, and I should not be able to do anything to usurp his position. (FWIW I didn't try that!)
Chris -- I assume you've been given the "Set Moderator Privileges" permission in the main group?

If so, I don't quite share your concerns. If a mere Member can make himself an Owner of a subgroup simply by creating one, I don't see why a Moderator of the main group who's been given proper permissions shouldn't be allowed to police it. In Michael's use case, this may actually be desirable, as a way for him to delegate that responsibility.

I was unable to [promptly] locate this topic in beta, so am unable to determine whether subgroups were discussed in this context. I'll leave that exercise to others. Folks may be relieved to know that I have confirmed that Moderators remain unable to promote themselves to Owner of the main group, no matter what permissions they may have been given.

Regards,
Bruce 

Check out the groups.io Help Center and groups.io Owners Manual


Chris Jones
 

On Wed, Mar 17, 2021 at 01:57 PM, Bruce Bowman wrote:
If so, I don't quite share your concerns. If a mere Member can make himself an Owner of a subgroup simply by creating one, I don't see why a Moderator of the main group who's been given proper permissions shouldn't be allowed to police it.
Ah; possibly a misunderstanding.

I am not suggesting that a main - group moderator should have no power to police a subgroup; my main concern is that they can promote themselves to Owner with all that implies. (Remember the discussions about mods being able to promote themselves to owner on a (main) group and then ousting the rightful owner.) This concern exists alongside Jeremy's point about member/owners of subgroups being able to issue invitations unbeknownst to a main group owner. 

The other anomaly is that a main group moderator is rebadged as an owner if they join a subgroup, although on joining they only have member status unless they (or someone else) deliberately change their own role and permissions.

I can completely understand Jeremy's concerns; if you think about it the current arrangement allows a subgroup "owner" to come up with a list of settings that the real owner doesn't know about unless he or she makes a deliberate attempt to investigate, and those settings might be at variance with real owner policy; just how much autonomy should a subgroup owner - member be awarded? I can see why Jeremy has called this a "bug" but exactly what would he (or anyone else) wish Mark to make different? If members are to be allowed to create subgroups perhaps the best solution is to for the main group owner to follow them and reduce their role to moderator with some of the more potentially troublesome permissions withheld.

If I do go to beta about my observations I'll leave Jeremy's alone; I have no wish to hijack someone else's legitimate concerns.

Chris


Michael Olivier <lists@...>
 

Thanks, Duane. That's my point: it's a huge problem (AKA bug) for me that I don't get notified when an invite for a sub-group allows a new member to join the top-level group.

My workaround, for now, will be to only allow moderators to create sub-groups, on request. 

-M


Jeremy Harrison
 

The bottom line over this issue is that when somebody not a member of a main group wishes to join a sub-group, two seperate processes have to happen for that to happen: (1) join main group and (2) join sub-group - both requiring authorisation (explicit or implicit), and visibility (to member and moderator(s)/owner(s)) notifications by e-mail and activity log entries), as specified by settings.
This is not what seems to happen: rather there is a combined, hybrid, process, whic, while it joins them to both, only has one set of authorisation and messages (rather than two, as should be expected).

Similarly, when a member leaves a main group, they also should be going through a process of leaving any sub-groups they are members of (including appropriate notifications).

Jeremy


Michael Olivier <lists@...>
 

Great, clear summary of the issues, Jeremy. Thanks! So what happens with this now? I'm not clear whether there are devs for g.io in this discussion, or if someone needs to file a bug.

-M