[OSM-dev] Sending messages to users

Alex Barth alex at mapbox.com
Thu May 8 22:29:01 UTC 2014

A messaging API that uses an OAuth based flow would be a great thing to
have and it would be hard to abuse for spamming. Messages could only be
sent from applications users have explicitly opted in to and only to users
who have allowed this application to send them messages (opt-in or opt-out
for messaging preferences TBD).

I think the map roulette use case is a great illustration of how such a
messaging API would facilitate better tools in the OSM orbit. Messaging is
a huge part of building good web tools.

On Mon, May 5, 2014 at 9:52 AM, Serge Wroclawski <emacsen at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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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