Wandering Thoughts archives

2007-12-15

There are reasons for stupid anti-spam policies

Every so often, people do silly things in the name of anti-spam work. While we can curse the creators of stupid polices like 'send notification email to the envelope origin address of mail scored as spam' as idiots, people aren't really, and I think it is more fruitful to consider why such policies get created.

(There is a university subdomain in Texas that does this. Really. When we started getting these notices, I almost wrote them a very grumpy letter asking what sort of idiots they were.)

In this case, I suspect that the answer is probably that high authorities are terrified of 'losing' legitimate email to spam rejection, so terrified that they are willing to force really bad policies to be implemented just in case. (And it may not even be the high authorities; the authorities may be responding to pressure from a vocal minority, especially in cases like the Texas university, where the minority may have tenure and grant funding.)

If nothing else, thinking about why these bad policies get created elsewhere gives us a head start in coming up with ways to keep them from getting put into place on our own systems and to have useful conversations with people who suggest them.

(It also gives me a certain amount of sympathy for the people who have to implement these policies and probably read email about them, which makes me glad that I did not send that grumpy letter.)

spam/BadSpamPolicyReasons written at 23:25:08; Add Comment


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