Re: [ietf-smtp] why I'm discussing the spam filtering problem

Keith Moore <> Mon, 05 October 2020 04:06 UTC

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From: Keith Moore <>
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Date: Mon, 5 Oct 2020 00:06:25 -0400
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Subject: Re: [ietf-smtp] why I'm discussing the spam filtering problem
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On 10/4/20 11:48 PM, Scott Kitterman wrote:

> On Sunday, October 4, 2020 10:18:08 PM EDT Keith Moore wrote:
>> It's because I care about Internet email, and having it work well.
>> It's because I hate to see Internet email lose out to FacedOut and
>> LockedBook and Tooter and Frop and most of the other profoundly
>> dysfunctional toys that people use for interpersonal messaging these
>> days.   It's because (and I'll probably regret saying this) RFC821,
>> RFC822, and their descendants have actually held up fairly well in terms
>> of functionality, especially in comparison to these toys, though there's
>> clearly a need for improvement by now.
>> I'd like to think that other people here also care about having Internet
>> email work well, but so far the loudest people just seem to be screaming
>> for their right to sabotage it.   Maybe there's some good intent and
>> good faith buried in those arguments, but it's hard to see.
> My advice would be stare harder.
> In my view, email without spam filtering would be totally unusable.

Well, in my experience, that depends.   I operate some accounts with no 
spam filtering, some with, using different accounts for different 
purposes.   That has worked fairly well for me.  I do get some spam on 
the unfiltered accounts, but not enough to be terribly bothersome, and 
it's certainly better to leave spam filtering off for those accounts 
than to risk losing a gig.

(I have other accounts that get horrendous amounts of spam despite 
having spam filtering.   I'm phasing those out but it can take a long 
time to update everyone's idea of your email address.)

> Spam filtering email may cause problems, but it is still a net benefit.
I do find spam filtering useful in some instances, but don't see a 
general net benefit.  Sometimes it's a win, sometimes it's a huge lose.

> It's necessary precisely because email is such a great messaging system.
I don't follow that.   Certainly spam filter is sometimes necessary, 
though, because email is so accessible.
> What's your solution?  Don't filter and deliver everything isn't a solution.
> It merely transfers the problem to someone else.

Agree, but I wouldn't expect the optimum to be at such an extreme anyway.

I have some ideas, but I don't think I could work out the entire 
solution by myself.   And in an environment with as much hostility as 
this one, I don't think suggesting something that isn't both 
comprehensive and comprehensible is likely to produce any kind of 
constructive discussion.