Be sure not to report yourself to AOL as a spammer

  • September 3, 2008
If you forward your domain emails to an AOL email address then do not use the 'This Is SPAM' button.

We have seen a few clients lately who have experienced problems with messages being sent through their servers to AOL accounts. In most cases, the problem has turned out to be associated with the way AOL designates what is SPAM and what is not. Many clients, and their customers, take all mail and send it through their server to an AOL account off-server. In doing so, they are relaying messages off of their own server, and sending them to AOL. When the AOL client then designates one of those messages as SPAM by hitting the 'This Is SPAM' button in their AOL toolbar, the report goes to AOL, and they analyze it, taking the SPAM source and the relay source both into consideration when determining who is at fault for the SPAM message.

If you or your clients use AOL and relay all of your mail through your server, when you report actual SPAM sent to your accounts to AOL by clicking on the 'This Is SPAM' button, you are implicating your own account as a SPAM relay source, even though your server did nothing but bounce all of your mail to an offsite location. This is not a major issue if it happens occasionally, but if it happens a lot you can end up blacklisting your own account. Other blacklists on other networks may work in this same fashion, but most do not.

Please take note of the risks inherent with reporting SPAM through AOL's 'This Is SPAM' button, because in doing so you may be creating problems for yourself that can be quite costly to fix.

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