[OSM-dev] Sending messages to users

Serge Wroclawski emacsen at gmail.com
Mon May 5 13:52:43 UTC 2014

Hey all,

MapRoulette has made a choice to try to collect as little data from
our users as possible. We don't require a separate login other than
from osm.org, we don't collect email addresses or anything else.

This is good for MapRoulette users, and I think good for OSM in
general that we don't have lots of separate systems.

The problem is that we are needing to send messages to users. Ideally,
those messages would go through osm.org.

Otherwise, we have to build our own messaging system, or start
collecting user information (email address, etc.).

The reason I've been told that we don't allow for an API to messaging
is that we don't want spam, but:

1. This is a legitimate issue, of needing to message users, both in
this context and in other contexts (DWG comes to mind of a place where
we would benefit from this).

2. We already have spam issues on osm.org. I clean up spam not
infrequently in the form of notes, which can be anonymous, but we also
get spam from signed in users, as well as profiles, etc.

3. I'm not arguing that we need to make this feature available to
every single user, but it might be a nice thing to allow for some use
cases as above.

What do others think?

- Serge

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