Re: [Asrg] Adding a spam button to MUAs

Steve Atkins <> Thu, 28 January 2010 19:03 UTC

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Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2010 11:03:29 -0800
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Subject: Re: [Asrg] Adding a spam button to MUAs
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On Jan 28, 2010, at 10:48 AM, Douglas Otis wrote:

> On 1/28/10 9:41 AM, Michael Thomas wrote:
>> On 01/28/2010 09:31 AM, John Levine wrote:
>>>> Even worse, users will learn what the button means by the effect (they
>>>> think) they obtain by hitting it, which may vary.
>>> Web mail has had spam buttons for years, and the users seem to have
>>> figured out how to use them.  Can you explain exactly how the issues
>>> with a spam button in a MUA would be different?
>> The entire thing strikes me as rather elitist: like only Certified Spamologists(tm)
>> can determine for you what you don't want to receive.
> The issue whether a source issued spam or an email someone did not want is significantly different.  This is a greater concern for senders, and less so for individual recipients.  When this information is used to establish spam reputations used for blocking, then not describing auto-responses in Chinese as spam would be important.   In general, it would be safer to describe email marked by end users clicking "This is..." buttons, as only determining the message as unwanted for undetermined reasons, where it being spam is one possibility.  As such, describing the end-user button and the information obtain as identifying  the email as "junk" rather than as "spam" is likely to be more accurate from both the sender's and the law's perspective.

Most of the people I see arguing that the "this is spam" button isn't
a good user interface for users to provide their thoughts are spammers
or grey area bulk mailers.

There's a smattering of operationally inexperienced anti-spam nuts,
and dilettantes who have nothing more productive to do than argue about the
wording of AOLs user interface and the colour the AOL bikeshed should be
painted, but it's mostly spammers and dirty bulk mailers.

Most everyone else involved seems reasonably satisfied with it, which
suggests that the overall approach is probably quite effective. Even the
grey area bulk mailers seem fairly happy with the data they get, even while
the guys they hire to push their agendas are arguing about TiS semantics
in public.