Yahoo Talks to the common folk…

… and apparently many delivery people as well (I recognize many of the handles used in this discussion). Unfortunately I was not able to attend the event, with Yahoo’s Lead Anti-spam guru – Mark – and their Mail Blog admin -Ryan, but I was supplied with the transcripts of the discussions and have been reviewing them. Here are a few of the highlights.

Q: I would like to know how I can reduce the amount of Spam I receive in my e-mail accounts.

Mark: Some general tips include:
1. Protect your e-mail address as you would your phone number
2. Use the “Spam” button to report junk mail
3. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
4. Create a Sign-in Seal to avoid password theft

Q: What does the Yahoo! team do with email marked as Spam?

Mark: We have some incredibly sophisticated computer systems analyzing mail to block the spam — we’re using advanced techniques like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and heuristics to identify the bad messages. When you click the “spam” button, it sends a signal to those systems that “this message, and others like it, are bad.” We’ll then do two things:
1) we’ll stop messages from that sender from getting to you in the future, and
2) we’ll try our best to stop similar messages for all Yahoo! users. So it’s really the best thing you can do, and the best way to help us improve.

Q: What are you recommendations for handling blocks due to complaint volume, since FBL requests are not accepted at the moment?


Mark: The FBL, or feedback loop for those of you who aren’t familiar with the lingo — is a way that Yahoo! communicates back with commercial e-mail senders to let them know their messages are being marked as spam by Yahoo! Mail users. One of the most important ways that Yahoo! Mail is able to block spam is by listening to its users. Yahoo! is the largest webmail system on the planet, and if someone is sending mail our users don’t want to receive, those users let us know. We recommend commercial e-mail senders ensure they’re sending mail that Yahoo! Mail users want to receive. This means following recommended practices like confirming — and even periodically re-confirming — that users want to be on their mailing lists and proactively removing anyone who doesn’t read their mail.

If you have any question on this let me know I’ll do my best to answer them or I’ll drop a note to Mark myself and see that we get your answer.

Author: Matthew Vernhout

Author, CPO, Digital Marketing & Privacy Advocate, Gamer Founder of EmailKarma.net and FeedYourConsole.com

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