Whitelist/verification spam filters

Erik Max Francis max at alcyone.com
Wed Aug 28 00:16:49 CEST 2002

"David Mertz, Ph.D." wrote:

> A lot of my correspondents have flakey email systems, and might miss
> the
> confirmation requests.  Many of them are non-native English speakers,
> and might misunderstand the purpose of the automated response.  Even
> more of them use multiple email messages, and the automated response
> might not go to the address(es) they want to write me from.  Some are
> lazy, and some leave school or work around the time a confirmation
> message arrives.  I am quite certain that using a
> whitelist/verification
> system would wind up excluding a significant number of messages that I
> would otherwise wish to receive.

I agree with all of this.  Furthermore, the more general social issue
that whitelists raise is a kind of obnoxious selfishness.  In order to
contact you legitimately, I have to go through hoops in order to do it
if you have a whitelist system in place.  They're an example of a
solution that is fairly straightforward to install or even implement,
but end up putting the burden of spam catching effectively on the people
trying to contact you.

Perhaps it's just me, but I find it annoying having to go through hoops
to contact someone for legitimate purposes.  It's the same kind of
thing, although more so, as people using mangled email addresses on
Usenet.  The most infuriating case is when someone asks for help on
Usenet; if I reply by email and the mail bounces because they mangled
their address, I'm not likely to fix it and resend -- it's their loss.

Forcing people to jump through hoops for you just strikes me as terribly

 Erik Max Francis / max at alcyone.com / http://www.alcyone.com/max/
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 A lambda calculus explorer in Python.

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