[Mailman-Users] The AOL Problem

texas critter texascritter at ditb.net
Sun Apr 4 01:31:58 CEST 2004

(This AOL issue is exactly why I was asking about a global ban list for

On Saturday, April 03, 2004 3:40 PM, Brad Knowles wrote:

> Here's another address for you, taken from the NANOG mailing
> list:
> Carl Hutzler
> Director, AntiSpam Operations
> America Online Mail Operations
> cdhutzler at aol.com
> Carl Hutzler <cdhutzler at aol.com>

Carl is the person to talk to.  He's active on Spam-L[1] and he is a good
guy.  He does understand the reality of clueless users and he also deals
with the flip side of the *real* spam inundating their system.   If you
deal with him objectively and courteously, he will do what he can to help.

If you're a server owner or you lease an entire server, you can get on a
list for spam notifications from AOL, ask him about the Complaint Feedback
Loop.  (Since the complaints are by the IP address for the outgoing mail
server, if you are on shared hosting, you can't get the spam reports
because they'd be about other customers, not just you.)

I lease my own server and I'm on the AOL Complaint Feedback Loop.  Every
list I run is fan-related, all completely voluntary signups and the biggest
list I host with over 1,200 people (about 200-300 AOLers) also requires a
private email request to join the list so there's no mistakes, everything's
confirmed opt-in and still AOLers report it as spam.  I've even had AOLers
email someone I host with a question and then report the reply as spam!

When the monthly password reminders went out on the 1st, four AOLers
reported them as spam.  Since those have the individual's email address in
the body of the message reported as spam, I could identify them and I
removed all of them from the lists they'd been on.  One emailed today
asking why they got removed and I explained why, that they'd reported list
mail as spam and so I had to remove them.  I said they could rejoin as long
as they understood that they could not report list mail or anything
relating to their membership, like the monthly reminders, as spam and if
they did, they'd be permanently banned.

I did turn on VERP recently but with over 1,200 members and sometimes we
get a posting with 10 parts or more, that clogged up my mail queue in a
hurry and it took over a day to get all of it out to the list members so I
turned it off again.  I figure I'll mainly rely on catching people who
report the monthly list reminders as spam.

texas critter

[1] For anyone who's interested, here's the url for Spam-L, it's a very
technical discussion list aimed mainly at ISP and company network admins
but it's open to anyone and it's an interesting window on email, it's not
just as simple as clicking Send :)

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