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Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Slack rolled out its private-message-anyone feature Wednesday and immediately faced backlash.

The big picture: The company now says it's removing the ability to include a message with a request to connect to prevent harassment and abuse.

Background: "Slack Connect" allows you to request to send direct messages to anyone using the platform — even if you don't work at the same company (though you do need their email address for the request).

  • The initial rollout left many users wondering what guardrails were in place to protect them from unwanted messages and abuse, with some quickly finding ways to send unpleasant communications with the feature.

What they're saying: “After rolling out Slack Connect DMs this morning, we received valuable feedback from our users about how email invitations to use the feature could potentially be used to send abusive or harassing messages," Jonathan Prince, Slack's vice president of communications and policy, said in a statement.

  • "We are taking immediate steps to prevent this kind of abuse, beginning today with the removal of the ability to customize a message when a user invites someone to Slack Connect DMs."

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Israeli officials will object to restoration of Iran deal in D.C. visit

Photo: Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed the delegation traveling to Washington, D.C. next week for strategic talks on Iran to stress their objection to a U.S. return to the 2015 nuclear deal and to refuse to discuss its contents, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: That position is similar to the one Israel took in the year before the 2015 nuclear deal was announced, which led to a rift between the Israeli government and the Obama administration. History could now repeat itself.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases aren't budging — even after vaccinations doubled— Health care workers feel stress, burnout more than a year into the pandemic — Handful of "breakthrough" COVID cases occurred in nursing homes, CDC says.
  2. Vaccines: Johnson & Johnson's vaccine production problems look even bigger — All U.S. adults now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine.
  3. Political: Watchdog says agency infighting increased health and safety risks at start of pandemic.
  4. World: EU regulator: Benefits of J&J vaccine outweigh risk of rare blood clots.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Latino lawmakers want new Marshall Plan

Migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador arrive in the U.S. after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico into Roma, Texas. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Hispanic U.S. House members are pushing for an aggressive, multiyear "Marshall Plan" for Central America to tackle regional violence, corruption and economic devastation.

The big picture: The call for a Central American plan, similar to a U.S. program that rebuilt Western Europe following World War II, comes as both political parties and the Biden administration struggle to find short-term solutions to the ongoing humanitarian crisis. The price tag: TBD.