I'm trying to ask a question about protocols for converting between user authentication types on an SMTP server, but whatever I do my questions keep being closed because various mods consider a protocol a "product or service".

How do I word my question so that it won't keep getting closed?

My overarching issue is that I need to take an IOT device that sends out an SSL encrypted SMTP packet, and allow it to speak to a to a server that's expecting a social media based authentication like a Google or Facebook login. Which means that some kind of translation needs to be made.

It looks like the mods are anticipating that people will answer by recommending me new service provider, rather than a protocol.

How can I get a question to stick when it keeps being closed based on what people might answer, not on what I'm actually asking?

  • Please do not vandalise your question.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    May 1 at 19:01

1 Answer 1


Various mods consider a protocol a "product or service".


You haven't asked the question you should have asked, and the question you did ask is off topic and not answerable even if it was on topic.

Closing it is the correct thing to do.

You are disputing the close reason which is:

Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic

Asking us to "find" a protocol is a "learning material recommendation"

My service provider has recently announced that it is updating its systems and will require a login using a social media account.

What your ISP uses for authentication has nothing to do with with accessing other services, for example email and social media applications/websites.

You just need to make sure your internet connection is live when your IoT device is trying to send an email.

My overarching issue is that I need to take an IOT device that sends out an SSL encrypted SMTP packet, and allow it to speak to a server that's expecting a social media based authentication like a Google or Facebook login. Which means that some kind of translation needs to be made.

You have an SMTP packet that needs to be sent to a mail server. You don't need a social media login to send an email. You need to ensure your IoT device is logged in the SMTP mail server when it sends that packet.

That is a completely different question from the one you asked which has nothing to do with sending email.

You were even told this in a comment on your 1st question:

Run your own email server that does support SMTP and TLS and forward the emails to that address

Connecting to a social media account

What protocol can I use to convert between the username and password that it tried to connect with and a modern social media login such as Google or Facebook?

As above, You don't need a social login to send an email. You are asking the wrong question.

Even if you did need one social media logins use a variety of login methods which may or may not include depending on how you have configured your logins (which you haven't specified). They may or may not be configured to use Two Phase Authentication


From the above is is unlikely that there is a single "protocol" as you call it that will handle the conversion you are after. And any such conversion is would be a complex process (which is not what you need as noted above).

And if there was such a process it would be a "service". And asking for Services is off topic.

You may have to roll your own. How to do this would also be off topic as then it would be a programming question.

You have also not specified what social media service you want to connect to.

  • 2
    That's basically no help at all. What question do I need to ask to get the answer that I need? May 1 at 10:20
  • Based on your answer here, you've clearly not understood the nature of my problem or the nature of the answer that I require. You're comments about ISP, and saying that I don't need a social media account to send email speak to this. I likely need a protocol or an API, which would normally be part of a server based OS.. May 1 at 10:23
  • 1
    Sigh. SMTP is a protocol. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol - Wikipedia. You don't need a social media account to send email. You need an email client. I can send email but I'm not running a server. You can run your own email server if you want. Asking what server to use or install is off-topic.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    May 1 at 10:43
  • 1
    It's not even a problem of protocols. What is being asked is to find a service on the Internet that can take in the SMTP protocol and somehow connect to a server that uses the OAuth protocol for authentication. Just because the word "protocol" is being abused (wilfully or not) doesn't change what is being asked for. Asking us to recommend software, regardless of whether it is running "in the cloud" or on your local computer, is off topic here.
    – Mokubai Mod
    May 1 at 11:27
  • I think that it's unfair for you to close my question based on the way that you'd solve the problem, not based on the question that I'm asking. I'm asking about a protocol, not a third party service. May 1 at 12:18
  • @DavidPostil You do need a social media account if that's how the server authenticates your identity. It's a security requirement for accessing the server. May 1 at 12:21
  • 1
    @AaarghZombies It's nothing to do with "how I would solve it" but is a basic understanding of what you are asking for. You have a device that knows one protocol and you expect it to magically talk another. How do you expect that to happen? Just bandying the word "protocol" as something you want is meaningless. A protocol is a language used by devices, not some magic that glues things together. Devices understand protocols and use them to talk to each other and just like humans a translator is needed when a person tries to talk to someone who speaks a different language.
    – Mokubai Mod
    May 1 at 12:41
  • @Mokubai, You haven't understood the question. There's nothing magic about it. You take the non-compliant protocol and you encapsulate it in the compliant one. It's done all the time. Most modern servers architectures do this by default. For example, it's how you can send a photograph over Bluetooth. You wrap the packet containing the image inside of a bluetooth packet which carries things such as transmission and security protocols. Anything sent via P2P is transmitted in a similar way. The P2P protocol handled things such as addressing, routing and encryption. May 1 at 18:28
  • @AaarghZombies So you either find such a wrapper yourself (asking for one is off topic) or write one yourself. Regardless of whether your proposed solution is a translator or a wrapper asking for it is off-topic. I'm done with trying to explain that to you.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    May 1 at 18:43
  • Why is asking about a wrapper off topic? Surely it's pretty basic computer science question? May 1 at 18:45
  • What would be an on-topic question? May 1 at 18:46
  • superuser.com/help/on-topic
    – DavidPostill Mod
    May 1 at 19:02
  • @AaarghZombies - Asking for a wrapper would involve someone submitting their recommendation on which wrapper to use (if one even exists).
    – Ramhound
    May 3 at 12:29

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