If you have not seen the “We Have You Surrounded” box in the right sidebar, you probably do not know there are about 500 people who subscribe to email from The M3 Blog. Sadly, less than 2% of those people get it.
Checking under the hood, even an orangutan could see the messages are right where they should be in the sent folder. Why are the recipients growing old looking for a notification from The M3 Blog?
Hardly. Since spammers are reproducing at an alarming rate (200 spammers send out 80% of all spam), the Big Three are choosing to combat spam in new and innovative ways. Each has tried any number of filtering methods to “enhance” the trapping of spam, from keywords to attachment scans to link counters to cross-matching sender addresses against databases of known spam addresses and the recipient’s address book.
The newest wave of filtering has met with some resistance by email recipients: the filtering of email into folders or tabs based on the email providers idea of what content is represented by certain email addresses. The short explanation is email which comes from the host domain, for instance Yahoo!, will get priority and be delivered to the inbox, provided they pass the standard spam checks. Everyone knows spammers are not ever going to have an email address from Yahoo!, Gmail or Windows, right?
It has legitimate uses. Most of us have a folder and a filter to put messages from social media into a folder so our inboxes are not flooded with notifications someone favorited our tweets or liked our photographs. Have enough people who never learned how to
read the directions make filters complained they do not know how to stop messages they do not want (unsubscribe, non-notification, report spam)?
The problem with automating the receipt of email is multifaceted. The recipients are losing out.
1. The main group which gets canned as spam is smaller domains, like The M3 Blog. Since M3 does not host, send or receive a large quantity of email (just less than 50,000 messages per month), it is blacklisted as a solicitor, even in the inboxes which subscribed. Their scanners only pick up on unsubscribe links with the word “unsubscribe” in the URL. Fail.
2. Announcements are considered just as spammy as solicitations. What do you mean you entered your email address to get the announcement so you would not be the only one on your block not to have the latest and greatest Domestic Vegetation Control Device (lawnmower)?
3. Plain text (read mobile friendly) emails are considered spammy. It stands up to your logic all email should be completely unreadable on those minuscule 2,000,000,000+ (2 billion+) mobile browsers, doesn’t it?
What led to email providers deciding what email their users really want to get? Numbers. No, not those numbers.
Spammers send millions of emails per day. These emails are a talking point for email providers. Rather than tell the truth, they want to keep the numbers. Who really wants to admit of the 100 billion emails sent on their network 92 billion of them were spam?
Why do we put up with this? Spam is legal. Yes, legal. The same way you get junk mail as long as the postage is paid, you get spam as long as the hosting bill is paid and the envelope is addressed properly. Since ISPs do not bounce spammers who have pink contracts allowing them to spam, they have to protect the recipients from some of the spam because customers hate junk mail, even in their inboxes.
Computers are only as smart as their programmers. Spam nets are only as smart as the people who are following the spam trail collect chunks big enough to catch in the future. You have seen them work. How many spellings of Viagra does your inbox catch?
Nets cannot catch all of the penis enlargement messages sent to women because it would be discriminatory to only allow spammers to hawk larger penises to men. After all, some ladies would like larger ones.
As long as there is money to be made in the spam industry, spammers will find more ways around the laws prohibiting it.
Since people who end up paying for spam (in customer loss, security systems, death from fake products) rarely recover money from spammers even after winning in court, there really is no punishment for spamming. Recipients of spam realize it is as ubiquitous as grocery store ads in their mailboxes.
Are the email providers doing the right thing by letting their computers decide what email is legitimate? Are email recipients too under-educated to know what is really spam or are they too lazy to flag spam when it comes in? Is it arrogant of the large email providers to list everyone not using their domains as spam?
It is enough to make an ape wonder.
Are you willing to retrain your inbox to actually deliver all of your email until you tell it something is spam?
Hashtags: #spam #fail
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© Red Dwyer 2013
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