Whitelisting and Bouncing Email

From time to time, I get reports of email rejections from the aggressive spam filter on this site.

If you receive a rejection message, the likely reason is that the spam filter thinks your mail is coming from a blacklisted site.  This can even happen to large commercial providers like rogers.com if they happen to host a user who launches a lot of spam.

When this happens, I would like to have a copy of the rejection message so that I can (a) whitelist you and (b) determine whether the rejection was legitimate.  Please cut-and-paste the text of the rejection message into the comment form below and submit it.

Note that these “comments” go into a review bucket for me and I will not make them public.  I will delete them after I have dealt with the whitelisting request.

The original post under this heading follows below.

I have had a few reports of email bouncing from this site with a message saying that the mail looks like commercial spam.

The reason for this is that several of the “free” mail systems like Yahoo, Gmail, Geocities, etc., are the source of reams of spam worldwide and the amount of spam has been going up a lot in recent months.

One of the fastest ways to get your mail bounced by the filter here (it protects many other sites too) and by filters on many other networks is to embed a URL in the text of your message pointing to a page on one of those free systems.  (A common location for this sort of link is in the auto-signature blocks people put at the end of their mail.)  If you do this, even accidently by forwarding someone else’s mail that contains the link, your mail will be refused here.

To give you a sense of the scale of this problem:  When I am not trying to make the world a better place for transit users or attending concerts, theatre and film, I am the Manager of System Operations in a very large IT shop.  Our firewall blocks between 30,000 and 60,000 pieces of spam every day depending on the level of “spam storms” on the net.  This is considerably more than the total volume of real mail sent and received from our site plus all of the internal mail.  There are always some “false positives” where the spam filters nail mail from a real person to a real person, and this usually happens because the mail has characteristics that resemble real spam.

Keep those cards and letters coming!

Thanks.