Sending email into Discourse

I receive Discourse messages fine via email (, 10.13.4), but when I reply via email, I get an error message:

"We’re sorry, but your email message to [“”] (titled Re: [TidBITS] Sending email into Discourse) didn’t work.

None of the destination email addresses are recognized, or the Message-ID header in the email has been modified. Please make sure that you are sending to the correct email address provided by staff."

Am I doing something wrong?

Thank you,


Is the From address on your reply the same address stored in your account on Discourse?

Yes, it’s the same one I use to log in with.

Also, the error message mentions the destination email address, but it’s the Reply To: address in the email (

I think you have to send to the address, not reply@…

Not sure why that’s not the default reply-to address though, one for @ace I suspect.

Irene - where is the tutorial?
Thank you.

Click on your avatar (icon, top right) and then on the envelope icon in the corresponding menu:


This takes you to your messages. You should have one titled “Greetings!” from Discobot.

Click on this, and respond to it, that will run you through the tutorial.

This was my fault, due to incorrect configuration. I’ve fixed it now, so future messages should have proper Reply-To addresses. They’ll be along the lines of reply+{somekey}

To be clear, if I respond to email like this, a new post will show up at TidBITS, and depending upon my individual settings, I will also receive an email that is the updated version of TidBITS Talk? I realize this is all new, and the details will get sorted out eventually, but I’m a little fuzzy on what actually happens or what best practices are for creating and responding to new (what-used-to-be-email) threads.

For instance, should we top quote? Bottom quote? Remove previous responses from others? Or will Discourse handle this on its own?

Also because I’m still pining for Eudora, and cleanly formatted text email (ha), I do think the Discourse email is a bit cluttered. Perhaps this is because in Apple Mail, I have “Don’t Automatically Load Remote Content” setting, and afaik, there is no way to choose to turn this on/off per a particular domain.

I don’t know if you’ll receive a copy of your post — I doubt it since it’s duplicative. But we’ll see.

Some experimentation will be needed, but I ask, just as before, that everyone quote minimally. When in doubt, don’t quote at all, since everyone has seen the previous message.

You could post a screenshot of what you’re seeing — it would be interesting to see how that works via email too — since I can’t really visualize the problem. Here’s what your message looks like for me in Mail. I don’t fight with the remote content setting — I find it too annoying to have to load content manually.

Email a response with a top quote – it would be interesting to see how Discourse handles it!

Typically, the only remote content in a Discourse email will be profile pics and the occasional emoji (I think emoji are usually in the form of image files because it’s hard to know what they’ll look like on every platform otherwise). The screenshot was a little weird, it showed the alt text in bold, blue link text, “53%20PM.” I’m guessing that text was a truncation of the uploaded screenshot’s filename.
If one uploads an image in the editor and writes good alt text between the square brackets, it will be helpful to email recipients who don’t load images by default and to people with disabilities who may not see the image.

Here’s what I saw from the previous message:

I absolutely must avoid loading remote content, as doing so can verify my email address to potential spammers such as pharmaceutical companies and health care headhunters, who are rabid, ruthless, and without scruples. So the emails I get from Discourse have all this little blank boxes, sometimes with some text in them. It’s not unusable, but aesthetically a bit naff. And the strange box with “53%20PM” expands to the quoted original message. So I’m doing a lot of clicking the “Load Remote Content” button.

I’m going to check to see if it’s possible for Mail to use a rule to load images.


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Given that in the email, the message is followed by an excerpt of the message being replied to, top quoting is almost certainly the right choice when replying to a Discourse email. I’m top quoting this now to see what happens, my guess is Discourse will be smart enough to remove all the quoted material (I’m writing this in macOS Mail, BTW).

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Doesn’t seem to be possible. :frowning:

We can encourage people to provide ALT text, but I doubt that will be super successful.

Good, my top-quoted message by email did remove all the quoted content below it on the web and in the copy emailed to me. I quite like interspersing quotes and my responses (deleting non-relevant lines), I don’t know if I’d dare do so in an email response to Discourse. Discourse’s web form for commenting is pretty good, I know what I’m going to get when I submit with it.

I read a lot through RSS feeds so I may turn off the Discourse mailing list mode, read the feed, then click through to the web site to reply.

I think the days when spammers cared about verifying email addresses are long behind us. They send billions of spams, not one is looking at them for verification. “Legitimate” companies do use tracking images, however (where you may or may not agree they are legit, but they absolutely know your email address is real).

It appears as though one can assign a keyboard shortcut to the “Load Remote Content” button via an Automator workflow.

I haven’t tried it yet, but that would certainly mitigate the problem I have with having to switch from keyboard to trackpad when reading through TidBITS Talk – which I was previously able to do with only the keyboard.

Is it even possible to set the Alt text when replying by email?


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Given that in the email, the message is followed by an excerpt of the message being replied to…

Except I’ve turned that feature off as it was terribly confusing.

…my guess is Discourse will be smart enough to remove all the quoted material

It did. I saw no quote in your email and I didn’t know what you were talking about at first.

I’ve quoted two tiny bits of your message – we’ll see if Discourse preserves them (I’m doing this via email, not the web).

Marc Zeedar
Publisher, xDev Magazine and xDevLibrary |

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Discourse kept your quotes styled as quotes on the web, just without the attribution. My guess is a line that begins with a greater-than (>) is treated as a quote and they were retained because there was additional unquoted content that followed. It could be bad if one replied by email in a client that adds a signature at the very bottom.

BTW, given the multi-platform nature of TidBITS Talk, I think it’s best not to use a signature file in emails to Discourse unless they’re formatted using the old-timey signature file indicator (newline dash dash space actual signature) and Discourse knows how to strip them.

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It looks like Sierra Mail can’t (I don’t think iOS 11 Mail can either) but Outlook 2016 can.