Consumer Forum Launched to Report Missing Email

  • by February 18, 2003
The NAI Email Service Providers Coalition announced yesterday the establishment of a forum for reporting instances of missing email due to spam filtering. The forum called “I_Did_Not_Get_My_Email” provides a way for consumers to post information about false positives, that is, non-spam messages that have been inadvertently blocked. Analysis of this information can be an important tool to improve anti-spam filtering techniques.

“Email alerts about missing children have been blocked by some anti-spam filters, even though the intended recipients definitely wanted to get them,” said Hobie Woolen, co-founder of Code Amber, a world-wide system for quickly alerting law enforcement and concerned citizens about missing children. “In the fight against spam, a way must be found to improve filters so that this kind of message invariably gets through immediately.”

“The rapid proliferation of spam is a major problem for everyone. We hope the “I_Did_Not_Get_My_Email” forum will strengthen the measures being employed to fight spam by providing a resource to make the filters increasingly accurate,” said Trevor Hughes, Executive Director of the NAI. “Legitimate messages that are blocked or filtered have become a stumbling block in the war against spam and we hope the forum will help address this problem.”

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Assurance Systems last week reported that on average 15% of legitimate commercial email is currently rejected due to false positives.

“If you’re expecting a gift certificate from an online bookstore or a city meeting notice, you may never see it due to the blacklists and filters that are currently in place,” said Hughes. “Or a message to your accountant may bounce, if someone has put the server that handles your company’s email on its blacklist. A message from a long lost high school buddy may be filtered if he uses too many exclamation marks.”

The moderated group is to be found at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/I_did_not_get_my_email/. Messages can be read and posted there by anyone who is registered or registers at Yahoo! Groups. Messages can also be posted by sending mail to i_did_not_get_my_email@yahoogroups.com. The addresses of those who post will be hidden.

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