[Operators] Announce: Jabber Spam Fighting Manifesto (for public servers)

Denver Gingerich denver at ossguy.com
Thu Feb 8 13:44:53 UTC 2018

On Thu, Feb 08, 2018 at 02:27:50PM +0100, Jan Pinkas wrote:
> We need technical solutions:
> 1. Default behavior: don't accept messages from contacts without
> subscription. This is default for other IM systems.

This is not the default for the most popular IM system: SMS.

Please do not implement this on your server, otherwise many useful services (such as those that emulate or integrate with SMS) will not work anymore, and your users will have no idea why.

There are lots of other ways to combat spam.  I've outlined the steps used in the Prosody configuration that I and some friends use here: https://lists.debian.org/debian-rtc/2018/02/msg00000.html .

I built and operate https://jmp.chat/ (JMP) - a service that lets you send and receive text and picture messages using a real phone number from your existing XMPP account.  Though we like to advertise that XMPP is great and you can use any XMPP server with JMP, we realistically won't be able to do that much longer, exactly because server operators are starting to use the "strategy" you described.  We constantly have to debug situations where a user's server suddenly stops allowing messages from contacts not in their roster, and it is very painful, both for us and the user.  We do maintain a list of recommended servers at https://jmp.chat/suggested_servers.html but not everyone wants to use one of those (or maybe has an account elsewhere already).

I really don't want to create a public list of non-recommended servers (i.e. those that do not work well with JMP and other SMS services because they silently ignore messages from contacts not in their users' rosters).  So please use other spam-fighting techniques instead, such as those discussed in the Manifesto, and those at https://lists.debian.org/debian-rtc/2018/01/msg00005.html .

I'm happy to respond to any questions about this or about JMP generally.  Thanks, everyone, for your work to improve the state of XMPP servers!


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