Yahoo and their mail filters..

Micheal Patterson micheal at
Wed Feb 25 18:31:16 UTC 2009

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Barry Shein" <bzs at>
To: <stefan at>
Cc: "Suresh Ramasubramanian" <ops.lists at>; "Micheal Patterson" 
<micheal at>; <nanog at>
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 11:58 AM
Subject: Re: Yahoo and their mail filters..

> On February 25, 2009 at 04:26 stefan at (Stefan Molnar) wrote:
> > For our userbase with yahoo/hotmail/aol accouts they hit the spam 
> > button more often than delete.  Then complain they do not get emails 
> > anymore from us, then want discounts on a bill of sale they missed. 
> > It is a never ending story.
> >
> I realize this is easier in theory than practice but I wonder how much
> better the whole AOL (et al) spam button would get if they ignored the
> spam button unless two (to pick a number) different customers clicked
> the same sender (I know, forged sender etc but something like that) as
> spam in a reasonably short amount of time like an hour or a day at
> most.
> I know of the 99.99% false positives I get I am pretty sure if the
> threshold were two related complaints it'd get rid of, well, probably
> 99.99% of them (percentages not scientifically accurate!)
> Ok, that's not an algorithm but I hope you see my point.
> My point is that what makes spam "spam" is not that some one clicks a
> spam button, it's that more than one person, and just two might be a
> sufficient threshold in practice, believes it's spam. At least from
> the POV of a network operator trying to id spam sources from spam
> button clicks.
> If they ever get it down to fretting about spams really sent to only
> one AOL (et al) customer then one could revisit this idea.

Barry, there's also the honest accidental emailings that are being 
clicked as spam as well. In the days of old, spam was unsolicited bulk 
email. The problem that I see currently is what is Sally in Florida is 
sending mail to joe at, hosted by yahoo, when they should 
have sent it to jjoe at or joel at and the 
recipient clicks it as spam. Bam, Sally's now a spammer in the eyes of 

This is not much different in practice than what Spews used to do. Blow 
out an entire /16 to stop what they "percieved" as spam from someone 
deep in the trenches, without very little recourse to remove yourself 
from the axe path unless you switched providers.


Micheal Patterson 

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