Problems sending mail to yahoo?

Kevin Day toasty at
Mon Apr 14 01:00:14 UTC 2008

On Apr 13, 2008, at 2:24 PM, Joe Greco wrote:
> For example, I feel very strongly that if a user signs up for a  
> list, and
> then doesn't like it, it isn't the sender's fault, and the mail  
> isn't spam.
> Now, if the user revokes permission to mail, and the sender keeps  
> sending,
> that's covered as spam under most reasonable definitions, but that's  
> not
> what we're talking about here.
> To expect senders to have psychic knowledge of what any individual  
> recipient
> is or is not going to like is insane.  Yet that's what current  
> expectations
> appear to boil down to.

This is actually becoming a method some groups are using to attempt to  
censor others. This happened to one of our customers a while back:

Site A publishes some things that Group B finds objectionable. Group B  
wants to get it removed, but it's not illegal, against the hosting  
company's TOS or copyright infringement.
Group B tells all of it's members to go to Site A and sign up for A's  
discussion forum, using as many email addresses as they own.
A user registers for an account (one email sent to the user to confirm  
their email address). The user clicks the confirmation link, then gets  
an introductory email.
The user then does everything possible on the site that could generate  
emails. Password changes. "Notify me by email when the forum has a new  
post" activated. Sending private messages to each other. Etc.
When they've got thousands of users signed up, each with between 6 and  
20 emails from Site A, Group B tells all of its users to go through  
all the emails and click "Report as Spam" on every one of them.
Every mail provider out there suddenly sees tens of thousands of  
reported spams coming from Site A from a wide range of people, and can  
independently verify that other sources are seeing elevated levels of  
spam from Site A's mail server.
Everyone blocks mail from Site A, thinking it's a spam source.

This took an insane amount of time to sort out. If the organizer of  
"Group B" hadn't emailed me personally confirming (and bragging) about  
what they had done, I still probably wouldn't have believed it. Our  
AOL feedback loop took days to go through, and contacting every  
blacklist we had our mail server entered on and convincing them of our  
story was difficult to put it mildly. And to make this mildly on- 
topic, we resolved this somewhat quickly with every provider except  
Yahoo - which never responded to any of our emails or form submissions.

Then there are the users who apparently think the "Report as Spam"  
button is like a spare for the "Delete" button, and use them  
interchangeably... We regularly have users who sign up for a mailing  
list, click the opt-in confirmation link, then report the confirmation  
email as spam. We remove them from the mailing list, then they  
complain they aren't getting their list anymore. We reply back  
explaining why they were removed, and they report our reply as spam.

-- Kevin

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