Wandering Thoughts archives

2007-10-27

Why I am not really interested in hearing blacklist appeals

From a comment on a previous entry:

There is considerable merit in allowing blacklisted sites to contact you to let you know that you've blacklisted them in error.

I'm not really convinced of this; especially I am not really convinced that it's at all useful to make it easy to do so from the outside, for example by never blocking email to postmaster. For a start, if a blocked site contacts me to say 'we are trying to mail your users but you are rejecting us', how am I supposed to know that they are not lying?

Really, the only people I want to listen to about this are my users, so I want my users themselves to tell me 'some email that I want is not getting through'. If an outside site wants to get un-blocked, they're best off by getting in touch with whichever of our users they're trying to mail and having that user ask us to fix the situation.

(Pragmatically, anyone who really wants to get through an email blocklist has lots of ways that don't even cost money, for example sending from Google Mail, so it should not be hard for such places to reach our users to let them know.)

Even if I was mandated to allow blacklisted sites to directly contact us, I do not think I would do it by email, and especially not by a well known common email address like postmaster, because well known email addresses invariably get hit by spam, so I would expect almost all email to postmaster to be spam, which is not a good recipe for spotting the one appeal email in five hundred spams. I think that a far better way is to use a web form or some other non-email method; if you have to use an email address, it should be specific to your site and probably change every so often. (Put the URL, or the email address, in the text of the SMTP error message.)

spam/BlacklistAppeals written at 23:18:47; Add Comment


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