Forum Safety and the Disabling of PMs

Hi Everyone,

Due to some recent events, we’re going to be shutting down PMs on the forums. I’m sorry that we need to do this because of only a couple bad apples, but for the safety of the community as a whole, I think this is the right decision. I know there are many (many) places on the internet where awful people can prey on others, but I’d very much like it if WaniKani wasn’t one of them.

I’m really sorry to do this so suddenly, especially for those who are using the PMs in a positive way, but when we discussed what actual purpose the PMs are there for, as well as how they can be abused, it didn’t feel like PMs were making enough of a contribution for the goals of what we want the community to be. Long story short, we’re turning them off. And we’ll be doing a few other things over the next couple days to try and make the community safer in a way that doesn’t take away from the positive spirit that (almost) everyone exudes.

PMs won’t work now, but as always you can contact us via email at

Thanks for your understanding (Hopefully! I’m just assuming at this point!). Please feel free to reply and let me know if you have any suggestions on additional measures we can take. I know that no place is ever going to be 100%, but I just want to make sure we’re doing our best to do what we can to get as close to 100% as possible.


It’s definitely a shame, but understandable. (considering what has occurred)


I’m very glad to see you guys taking action so quickly, this is a testament to the integrity of your team and your commitment to making this a safe place. I’m still new here, trying to navigate through it all, but I already feel very grateful :peach:


It’s unfortunate that the feature was abused like that but I think it’s an entirely fair call to make when considering possible safety concerns. I’m also really relieved to see this being taken seriously.



Understandable but unfortunate.

@koichi will PMs with people of the “leader” group still be available?

Thank you for taking action on this and informing everyone. I think disabling PMs is the right choice to make and I’m glad the team is keeping everyone’s safety in mind.


Just curious… Is there an option to accept PMs? For example, on Instagram/Facebook, when someone sends you a PM, it will not go to your main message box. You’ll have to accept the message from that specific person first in order to chat.

Just curious.

EDIT: Don’t get me wrong, I believe your decision was the correct one to take.

Given what’s been going on, this is a completely reasonable response. It might be helpful to have a basic net safety topic stickied somewhere, if only to remind people that, however friendly we may seem, we’re still strangers on the internet


Care to enlighten the ignorant? (Because I’m not that active on the forums).



@Poliziano It pertains to this thread.


i think the point is for there not to be – anything that’s appropriate to say in this community should be said in public, where the well-meaning majority can look out for everyone’s welfare with the flag button. if you need a private convo you can ask for someone’s facebook or whatever but then at least everyone else can make sure the pretense is ok.

i applaud the admin team for their quick & reasonable response. moderating is full of tough calls like this.

EDIT: i posted this in a reply downthread but ppl are still liking this post so i wanna say it here too – upon reflection, i think soliciting someone to a private message on an external site in lieu of PMs should be taboo. whether or not you think disabling PMs is the right move, if the admins don’t want users to PM even in an environment they can moderate, then off-site pms are even more dangerous still.


I believe that is an option on discourse, but it wouldn’t prevent the situation we are trying to avoid.


Like I said, “just curious”.

Yep, definitely can’t argue against that. Was quite surprised to see something like that here of all places.


So much this. I think the WK forum ends up being a bit of a haven for those of us who might identify as geeky, nerdy, introverted, awkward, etc. It’s exciting to find a place with other people who seem to share similar interests both in language learning and other topics. It’s very easy to get swept away in that (and I don’t mean at any certain age as sometimes I get overly excited and I’m on the older-ish side age-wise.) And please, anyone making plans with someone online, talk to a parent or friend or someone who is generally supportive of you. Let them weigh in to see if there are red flags you might be missing in your excitement to make a new friend. And if you’re too embarrassed (or unwilling) to talk about the situation with anyone, please consider that it might not be the best situation to be in. I say this as someone who has made a really really great friend through WK who I do now know irl. I know there are a lot of good people on here. But I want all the good people I have met to be safe and happy, always.


No matter the decisions made or how happy or unhappy people may be, thank you so much for taking immediate action. It makes a big difference that you and the rest of the team play an active part in the community and are willing to step up the moment something is wrong. Thank you.


Hmm not sure if I will meet someone irl again.


I saw that coming tbh, at least you did an action, and I really appreciate this. I’ve never used the PMs and I can’t represent other people and say it’s not needed or required, but I can say why not adding a comments wall in everyone’s profile, like old forums, which you can type or post anything in that person’s profile if you have a question or anything else, I know it won’t be private and will disclose things you want to say, but better than nothing maybe :roll_eyes:


I don’t know your age or situation, but please don’t let this story be representative of the internet in general. I’ve met literally dozens of people I first knew online, and they are amazing people. There are steps you can take to remain safe (like, don’t go alone), but it’s not really any different from steps you might take to meet anyone.


I’m really glad to see how quick of response this received! As others have said, it’s hard to even imagine something like that happening here on WK, but it’s so great that the team stepped up and made immediate changes to try and keep WK as safe and welcoming as possible. I’m not on the forums much, but things like this definitely tell you that this is a great community to be a part of and you guys are willing to do whatever it takes to keep it as such.