Slightly OT: How do you deal with domains you forward to who
consider you a spammer based in user reports?
ka at pacific.net
Mon Apr 30 21:51:32 IST 2007
Furnish, Trever G wrote:
> This probably only applies to folks on the list with large counts of
> users, but I appreciate any input. I also realize it's not directly
> related to MailScanner, but I value the thoughts of this list's members
> as email administrators much more highly than any other list I know of,
> so please forgive me. If you suggest more appropriate lists, thank you
> in advance.
> Ok, enough pre-amble. :-)
> This is specificly related to aol.com, but generally the problem is I
> forward to about 150 addresses at a given domain (out of the ten
> thousand or so I accept mail for) and the relatively small number of
> spam I DON'T catch are being reported by those users to their ISP as
> spam, causing my outbound server's IP address to be blacklisted by their
> ISP. AOL makes this extremely convenient for their users (so convenient
> that quite a few of the messages reported aren't even spam, but are
> actually just mail they're too lazy to unscribe from).
> How do you handle mail that you forward? As I see it my only options
> for dealing with aol are:
> - Don't miss any spam (uh, I wish) so none is forward to aol.com
> - Don't forward to outside addresses (definitely the choice I wish I
> could implement, but not really an option).
> - Convince aol that even though I frequently forward spam, they
> should let me. (Again, doesn't seem likely to happen.)
> Anyone have any other suggestions? I would expect this happens to quite
> a few of you with large user counts, if not with aol then with some
> other large provider.
It doesn't cost anything to get an aol feedback loop for your ip space.
postmaster.aol.com. Do that if you haven't already. You'll be notified
when some luser at aol.com clicks 'this is spam', or whatever the bit
red button says. This gives you a 'whitelisted' (sort of) status with
aol.com, so they are no longer as trigger happy.
When I came in this morning I had about 10 aol 'TOS notifications' from
the weekend. Half of those were legitimate mailings from domains we host
with one click opt-out links at the bottom, so I can quickly opt those
lusers out! Of the other 5, 3 were forwards of jokes which you can't
really do much about unless it's a violation of your TOS. The last 2
were domain forwards (NO CATCHALLS ALLOWED!) that our customers at
aol.com clicked 'this is spam' on. If this is a repeat behavior by a
certain customer, we send them a friendly note asking them not to do
that on their domain mail, and if they keep doing it, we begin
quarantining all low scoring spam. This has helped, but not solved the
> In my case it's been 500 reported "spam" sent to 150 aol.com addresses
> in three weeks, so 3 messages per user per week missed. I don't yet
> have a way to know the total count of messages forwarded for those
> users, but I doubt 3.3/week is a very high false-negative rate. The
> problem is just that from aol.com's point of view they're all spam from
> me, even though they're actually just being forwarded by me upon request
> of their users.
> Trever Furnish, tgfurnish at herffjones.com Herff Jones, Inc. Unix /
> Network Administrator
> Phone: 317.612.3519
> Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from Unix.
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