[OSM-dev] finding OSM users by their home locations

Paul Johnson baloo at ursamundi.org
Sun May 31 20:50:37 BST 2009

Matt Amos wrote:

> in my opinion it's evil to contact users who haven't opted in to be
> contacted. it's a valid point of view that they implicitly opted in,
> but i don't think this is what most users intended when they added a
> home location - it's certainly not what i intended.

I'm not sure it's a valid point of view beyond the current assumption:
You want to hear from other OSM users trying to contact you, without
necessarily revealing contact information.  It's generally OK to assume
people want to hear from other humans, but not OK to assume they want
automated or bulk messages without them opting in first.  I think trying
to push beyond that might result in folks reporting OSM messages as
spam, which is an annoying and sometimes expensive problem to fix.  Err
on the conservative side of sending things en masse or automatically
unless it's been specifically requested.

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