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May 22, 2003
Blog Post

Unwanted Email Hits Around 80% - Filters go into Overdrive

SUMMARY: No summary available.
By Managing Editor Anne Holland

15 minutes ago I got a call from my Dad.

"I don't want to bother you at work," he said, "but you should
know the email you sent me this morning about getting a trainer
for your dog was flagged by my ISP as 'Maybe Spam.'"

I flipped open my 'sent mail' folder and reviewed the note I'd
written him. Even with all of Sherpa's research on how filters
work, there was nothing, nada, zilch, I could see that would make
any filter system think my little note was evil.

Over the past few weeks, you may have noticed the same thing
happening to much of your sent email, whether it's bulk mail or
just individual notes.

Over-zealous filters are stopping a heck of a lot of non-junk

Wen AOL and MSN both announced this week that 80% of the
email their users are getting is unwanted junk, it made me wonder
what part of that 80% is misidentified good stuff, like my note
to Dad.

In the filter world they call it "false positives" and no one
admits how many of those they stop from getting to email users.

In reaction to this, I held a Sherpa-wide staff meeting this week
to announce a new Company policy: If a communication to anyone is
really important, always, always, always follow-up with a phone
call. Never assume email got through.

It so often doesn't.
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