Email

by Mike Masnick




To The AOL User Who Thinks We're Spamming Him Or Her

from the thanks-for-wasting-our-time dept

Unfortunately, this is unlikely to work, but it seems like we need to try something. If you are an AOL user and, at some point in your life, you subscribed to the Techdirt Wireless daily email and you no longer want to receive it, there is a handy opt-out link at the bottom of each email. We use a double-opt-in system for adding new users, meaning that you had to clearly show that you were interested in signing up for the email -- which makes it anything but spam. We have a record of when everyone opted-in as well, and I'd be more than happy to show you when it was that you signed up using that double opt-in system to prove you really wanted these emails. However for some reason, you've told AOL that the last twenty or so of our daily emails were spam -- and that's made AOL angry. AOL has sent threatening emails to us, but they never tell us your email address. We'd be more than happy to take you off the list, if we only knew who you were. However, at this point, in order to stop the threatening emails from AOL we may just need to remove all of our AOL subscribers -- as ridiculous as that may sound. So, if you are reading this and have subscribed to the Techdirt Wireless Daily email with an AOL account, please let us know that you would like to continue receiving the email. If you are the AOL user who somehow, incorrectly, believes we're spamming you, click the unsub link at the bottom of the email or contact us and we'll take you off the list. Sorry to bother everyone with a pointless post, and we're especially sorry to have to bug all of the AOL users on the list who aren't the ones accusing us of spamming.

Reader Comments

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  • identicon
    peter, 27 Jul 2005 @ 11:47pm

    aol

    aol is still for losers

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    peter, 28 Jul 2005 @ 12:20am

    aol

    aol is still for lusers

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      bill, 28 Jul 2005 @ 1:00am

      Re: aol

      I remember when aol opened the doors to the internet.. What a mess that created, especially on the newsgroups. I gave up reading the newsgroups for quite some time, and still don't use them like I used to.
      I figured by now, there would be somewhat of a clue running around there...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        thecaptain, 28 Jul 2005 @ 5:10am

        Re: aol

        Yup, I remember the

        me too!
        phase

        the "I can't get ur file ..can you send to me?" phase

        funny part was they were mostly attached to debate threads on whatever subject.

        From what I see today, it doesn't look like the average IQ of the AOLuser has increased in any way. AOL does not encourage net savvy or netiquette.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      AntiDorpus, 28 Jul 2005 @ 5:14am

      Re: aol

      The customer is Dorpus. Please remove him.

      Thanks.

      (Cheque is in the mail...)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        That's 2, 28 Jul 2005 @ 3:59pm

        Re: aol

        SO I know I find Dorpus to be a negative, and now there is an antidorpus. How many readers here find it, beyond 2, annoying?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2005 @ 6:16am

    double opt-in is spammer-speak

    "Double opt-in" is the phrase spammers use to make the process of confirming an opt-in to a mailing list seem like an onerous burden for the subscriber. Stop sounding like a spammer and maybe folks will actually believe you are not a spammer.
    The correct phrase is "confirmed opt-in".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Ace, 28 Jul 2005 @ 9:04am

      Re: double opt-in is spammer-speak

      It also doesn't help that the "unsubscribe" links are the real spammers' best friend.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 28 Jul 2005 @ 9:29am

      Re: double opt-in is spammer-speak

      Stop sounding like a spammer and maybe folks will actually believe you are not a spammer.

      Are you serious? Instead of just... um... not spamming, you think it's my responsibility to keep on which slang is "spammer speak" and which is not? "double opt-in" was the phrase that was always used in discussions about legsilation on spam, so I find it hard to believe that it's only "spammer speak."

      The semantics shouldn't matter. The obvious fact that we're not spamming is what matters (do you read this site on a regular basis? do you think we'd ever condone, let alone practice, spamming???). To have you imply otherwise because of the term that we use (which seemed to be in common usage) is pretty silly.

      Who knew that political correctness had come to the world of spamming/anti-spamming?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2005 @ 10:28am

        Re: double opt-in is spammer-speak

        Tomato, Tomato, potato, potato... and don't forget about verified opt-in? All the same thing. The purpose is to prevent an address from being added to a mailing list without the owner's permission by requiring a confirmation reply from the address being added. If you are conscientious about building a mailing list, this is the way you do it. Call it what you like. If you're a spammer, well, they're all useful phrases for trying to convince potential customers that your mailing lists are all above reproach. If they believe you, well, it proves Barnum was right.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jack9, 28 Jul 2005 @ 8:19am

    Simple Solution

    Since AOL can already determine which users are receiving the newsletter, send AOL a list of users and "proof" of the opt-in for each. This blanket approach, solves the problem for all respective parties.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      SorryJack9, 20 Dec 2006 @ 8:25pm

      Re: Simple Solution

      Obviously you have never tried to contact AOL.

      They have their normal numbers, and in time they may chime in and give you the postmaster number. They are just as worthless and tell you to sign up on their postmaster.aol.com for tips and hints to clear up problems, but nobody, nowhere will actually listen to your problem and have the technical know-how to solve it.

      You saying to converse with somebody at AOL and provide them a list of known users is rediculous and impossible - because of AOL and how they operate. They do not hire skilled tech people, but monkeys who pull levers and read scripts to solve generic problems. Anybody who actually makes AOL run behind the scene's are far from any telephone a customer would ever be on the other end.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jeff R, 28 Jul 2005 @ 8:56am

    No Subject Given

    It could be worse, AOL has blocked all email from my server's IP address because two emails over a period of 3 weeks were marked spam by an AOL user clicking on their "This is Spam" button.

    It has affected more than 300 people spread across 50 domains.. and good luck getting ahold of anyone at AOL to get your server IP removed after they've decided you're a spammer.

    And the emails that were marked spam? Church prayer notices that the AOL users in question had signed up for in person.

    We removed all AOL users from that list, but the damage has already been done...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Jon S, 28 Jul 2005 @ 9:53am

      Re: No Subject Given

      I've dealt with this as well. I dont have the specifics any more, but I found a page on the aol site that had a phone number for sys admins to call. They were adament about their procedure, but at the end of a couple of hours our domain was unblocked. They also were able to explain why we got listed, and added us to a "reputation" type program internally so that as long as 99% of the mail we sent them wasn't marked as spam we would be ok. Things worked fine after that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      alternatives, 28 Jul 2005 @ 1:04pm

      Re: No Subject Given

      I don't let AOL talk to my mail server....

      http://www.rfc-ignorant.org/tools/lookup.php?domain=aol.com

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      spam, 28 Jul 2005 @ 1:11pm

      Re: No Subject Given

      postmaster.aol.com

      call them. talk to them.

      I have dealt with them several times and have had servers removed from their blacklists. It's not that hard.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    matt, 28 Jul 2005 @ 10:25am

    AOL Pain and Suffering

    I'm a sysadmin for an emailing hosting company. We have some of our users who forward their mail to their AOL accounts. We have found that many AOL users use the report as spam link as the delete button. Even our replies to their support requests will get marked as spam. It's insane.
    However, there is a list that you can signup on through aol which will give you the messages back that are marked as spam. I believe it is a general aol terms of service complaint thing. it's been so long since we have signed up on it that I can't tell you where it is even located at. But that may be something that you want to look into.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    VonSkippy, 28 Jul 2005 @ 12:41pm

    AOL Sucks

    Just drop AOL. Anyone stupid enough to continue to use that overpriced Dinosaur doesn't deserve to read your fine info. In fact, I'd ban AOL IP's from even viewing your web page.

    Personally, I have a global "drop all" filter setup on my email server to drop any email coming from their domains.

    Did I mention - AOL SUCKS.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TJ, 28 Jul 2005 @ 7:07pm

    Poorly weighted system

    I realize Mike has to deal with this regardless of the cause. However, this does show just how badly weighted AOL's 'report as spam' logic must be. One lUser should not be able to have a sender harassed or even challenged, no matter how many times they press the button on e-mails from that source. AOL knows how many people get e-mail from that source, they know how many report those messages as spam. Computers can very quickly and easily calculate percentages and especially 'is greater than one', and respond or NOT with decent logic.

    I don't know if being an AOL customer will ever stop being an embarrassment, and the company acting as foolishly as some of its customers doesn't help matters.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    boicraig, 15 Nov 2005 @ 1:28am

    AOL

    Amateurs OnLine

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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