Blacklisting option has been removed from Quarantine Notifications

Yes, we removed a feature, and since that's something we don't often do, I thought I should explain why we decided to do this.

When we launched our service, our quarantine notifications contained links to recover and to whitelist email senders.  There was no option to blacklist a sender - our thinking at the time was "the message has already been identified as spam, why would you need to blacklist the sender?"

But we received a few requests to add a blacklist entry, and, since it was a trivial feature to add, we did so, not anticipating that there would be any real downside to the feature.

But we were wrong.  It's led to important emails from valid users being blocked, and this isn't acceptable to us.

How could this happen?  

A large proportion of spam and malware has forged senders.  Malware on someones computer might send spam or malware to everybody in your address book, using the infected person's email address. Perhaps it's your own email address in there, or one of a co-worker or a family member.  

We are the best in the business at blocking that spam and malware, and it ends up in our user's quarantine.  But then, if they blacklist the sender, they end up blacklisting the email address of someone important to them.

And that's the trouble.

Indeed, we've found that we have users who blacklist pretty much everything they see in the quarantine.  And now some have more than 30,000 entries in their blacklists.  Imagine the rate of false-positives they can have as a result!

We've found that blacklisting the addresses in the quarantine does virtually nothing to improve the spam capture rate, and it causes false-positives. Lot's of false positives.  And while we love to block spam, we really hate to block legitimate email, even if it's because of a poorly chosen blacklist entry.

So that feature has got to go.

I hope that this explanation makes sense to everybody.


Tom Johnson
Founder/CEO

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3 Comments

  • 0
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    Irae Carvalho

    I was looking at my quarantine blacklist in mailroute and it is still there. I was writing a long comment here only to realize blacklist is only removed from notifications, not from the system.

    Yes, it is ok to remove from notifications. Blacklist still being available is awesome. A note on the post like "blacklist is still available from our web interface if you really need to get rid of some sender manually" would save me a lot of time debugging and understanding.

  • 0
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    Jhg

    I have experienced an immediate uptick in SPAM getting through.  Please do not remove the blacklist.

  • 0
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    Irae Carvalho

    Jhg I think you fell for the same thing as I did (see my comment above). Blacklist is there. Never removed. They removed the link to blacklist from the notification emails. If you login to the admin interface you'll see all your blacklist working exactly as it should.

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