Yahoo and their mail filters..

mike mike-nanog at
Wed Feb 25 18:42:02 UTC 2009

Barry Shein wrote:
> 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.
Well there's a problem with that too.

Lets say that you happen to need to deal with various office workers, 
who just happen to be the kind of folks who hold the public they serve 
in low regard and high contempt. Lets further say that these office 
workers feel no obligation to obey the law or demonstrate any 
consideration whatsoever for you or the trouble their callous 
inconsideration actions have caused you, requiring that you repeatedly 
and persistiently make contact and state your case. Lets further say 
that these same office workers - who are incompetent functionaries 
bewildered by that pointy thing on the screen and have zero forethought 
about the consequences of their actions - decide it's easier to deal 
with you by clicking 'spam' repeatedly instead of engaging in that 
conversation and working twords a resolution of the problem you need to 

We forget here on nanog that our list participants are (usually) high 
functioning people with substantial computer, technical, communications 
experience and who approach their personal communications a lot 
differently than the average 'end user', who has difficulty even finding 
the 'on' button let alone using it to any great effect. I run into the 
above described office worker stereotype on a frequent basis (the bearer 
of bad news, or having to represent someone or some cause) and the 
default action - spam - is almost universal amoungst these types. Just 
because THEY say it's spam, doesn't mean a whole lot of anything other 
than maybe you interrupted their coffee break or it would be too much 
work  and maybe someone else will get the message so they don't have to 
do anything.

The idea of using a group of users to effectively 'vote' only works when 
the group in question is comprised of reasonable people, and 
unfortunately, freemail users and office workers 'protected by postini' 
are the least likely candidates to make reasonable choices with votes 
for spam.....



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