Self-messages are messages sent by yourself from other locations (for example, mobile clients).
They are a feature introduced in bitlbee 3.4.2, which requires special IRC client and IM server support to work.
If your client shows these messages in the wrong window, bug the developers to fix it. It's basically just a PRIVMSG with your own hostmask in the source and the nick of someone else in the target.
IRC client support
For a full list of supported and unsupported clients, and links to workaround scripts, see this page:
For clients that don't support it, the self_messages setting exists:
Possible Values: true, false, prefix, prefix_notice
Change this setting to customize how (or whether) to show self-messages, which are messages sent by yourself from other locations (for example, mobile clients), for IM protocols that support it.
When this is set to "true", it will send those messages in the "standard" way, which is a PRIVMSG with source and target fields swapped.
Since this isn't very well supported by some clients (the messages might appear in the wrong window), you can set it to "prefix" to show them as a normal message prefixed with "-> ", or use "prefix_notice" which is the same thing but with a NOTICE instead.
You can also set it to "false" to disable these messages completely.
This setting only applies to private messages. Self messages in groupchats are always shown, since they haven't caused issues in any clients so far.
In other words, you may show them with a -> prefix by doing this:
set self_messages prefix
Or disable them completely with:
set self_messages false
IM protocol support
The following IM protocols support this feature
- Jabber groupchats.
Jabber if "carbons" / XEP-0280 is supported by the server (As indicated by a message on login saying "Carbons enabled")
- At the time of this writing (dec 2015) it's not widely supported by most public XMPP servers (easier if you host your own), but this will probably change in the next few years.
- Libpurple private chats given protocols that implement this (all of these are third party plugins)
Not supported yet:
Hipchat private messages: supported in theory, but it's pending some server-side changes. It should start working once they do that.
Twitter direct messages. Ticket
Not supported by the service itself (file a bug if this is wrong)
- Google talk over jabber