Moderator bot

This document provides detailed information and links to explain what the moderator bot is, what it does, and why we need it.

Who is the moderator I see in my room?

You may have noticed an account called moderator, with this alias: @moderator:ubuntu.com in your room or space. This is not a personal account, but a moderator bot we use to protect our Ubuntu Matrix homeserver from spam and abuse. This is part of our process for public and listed rooms, which you can find on this link.

What does the moderator bot do?

The moderator bot we currently used has several features:

  • Being a room admin, it keeps a foothold on each of our rooms. No matter what happens to other admin users in the room, the moderator will always allow the Matrix Ops to regain control of a room when needed.
  • Moderator bot is subscribed to federated access lists (ACLs) from other servers we trust. So, if a person or spambot is banned from communities we follow, the same account is automatically banned from our Ubuntu Matrix homeserver. This blocks spam before it can even start.
  • Other Matrix homeservers can listen to our access list and gain the same advantages, so that accounts that we ban, are automatically banned on friendly homeservers as well.
  • Room users can ask for help in the Matrix Ops room in case of a spam wave, and server-level bans can be performed by Matrix Ops team through the moderator bot.

Why do we need to grant admin permissions to the moderator bot?

There are several reasons why we need to grant the moderator bot admin permissions:

  • Per official documentation, the moderator bot needs admin power level to perform certain actions https://github.com/matrix-org/mjolnir/blob/main/docs/setup.md “Note: To deactivate users, move aliases, shutdown rooms, Mjolnir will need to be a server admin, and the server needs to be Synapse.”
  • Admin is the highest power level. If a malicious actor is trying to take over a room, they would not be able to kick out the Moderator bot.
  • If other room admins leave, lose their accounts, or are locked out of the platform, the moderator will always allow the Matrix Ops to regain control of a room when needed.

Who will ask me for this permission?

All official communication about these permissions will come from either the Matrix Council or one of the Operators. To find out who these people are, take a look at our Matrix Governance Documentation.

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