dennisgorelik: (Default)
Denise posted a nice summary of a team behind DreamWidth in an email newsletter.

Here's a piece that explains why my DreamWidth account was suspended:
* We get rid of accounts that were just created for spam purposes, whether that's "leaving spam comments" (if you get one, delete it and check the "mark this comment as spam" checkbox; our anti-spam team will handle it from there!) or "posting links to other sites in order to boost those sites' search engine rankings". (If you see what you think is one or more of those, open a support request in the Anti-Spam category with a link to the journal(s), and our anti-spam team will take a look.) It's okay to use DW to host the blog for your small business where you tell your customers what you've been up to lately, for instance, but it's not okay if your account exists only to post those bite-sized, auto-generated things stuffed with keywords and links that exist only for gaming search engines. There's obviously some human judgement involved here, and occasionally we mistakenly suspend an account that wasn't a spambot or a SEO-bot (and then we apologize and fix it!), but most spam accounts are very much a case of "you know it when you see it".
dennisgorelik: (2009)
When PostJobFree user marks our email as spam in their email inbox (e.g. on yahoo, gmail or aol) - we delete that user account from PostJobFree.
In addition, we blacklist such email and do not allow creating another account with such email.

The reason behind it is to improve email deliverability to the inboxes of users who actually want to receive our emails.

So, when PostJobFree visitor is trying to create new account with blacklisted email, PostJobFree shows:
We blacklisted your email because on 2015-11-30 16:28:27 UTC you marked email PostJobFree sent to you as spam in your inbox.
Could you please let us know at why you marked our email as spam?
Meanwhile you may try using another email.

Yesterday I received angry email from blacklisted user:
I tried to apply to a job today. The posting was from Beyond. I got an ugly message from you that said 8 months ago I listed one of your e-mails on AOL as spam and you blacklisted my e-mail address. You wanted to know why I listed you e-mail as spam. Since the incident you supposedly listed was 8 months ago I have no idea what you are talking about, nor would I remember any information.

I made a complaint to AOL.

How should I reply to that angry blacklisted user?

Update 1:
How to get spam reports feedback

Update 2:
From: Dennis Gorelik <>
To: johndoe <>
Sent: Thu, Jul 28, 2016 8:33 am
Subject: Re: Your e-mail

Could you please forward your AOL complaint (and their reply, if any) to me?

My concern is that if you randomly marked our email as spam in the past - it will keep happening in the future.
From: johndoe <>
Date: Thursday, July 28, 2016, 10:20:47 AM
Subject: Your e-mail

1. No reply from AOL, did not expect one.

2. If I had listed your site as spam none of your other e-mails, including this one, would have made it to me.

3. If you blacklisted my e-mail 8 months ago, why have I not seen anything until yesterday.

4. Remove my name from your system.

Bottom line: it rarely makes sense to deal with angry users.
The only real benefits from such communications are learning and entertainment.
dennisgorelik: (2009)
My LinkedIn account is active again.
See: Your LinkedIn account has been temporarily restricted

When LinkedIn blacklisted my account, my best guess was that I was banned for inviting people to connect who I personally did not know (I did a lot of invitations like that - mostly to people who already have 10+ shared LinkedIn connections with me).
But no. It was not that.

It was that I mentioned my web site ( in occasional LinkedIn private messages that I sent through LinkedIn to my direct contacts.
I could not find anything against mentioning my web site in private messages in LinkedIn Don'ts.

I probably sent less than 3 LinkedIn private messages per week (and only some of these messages included my web site).
For comparison: I sent ~10 times more LinkedIn invitations (without any message).

Anyway, it seems that LinkedIn customer support is somewhat responsive.
It takes them couple of days to reply.
However if I just hit "reply" in my email - my reply goes to the black hole.

LinkedIn Response (05/11/2016 10:55 CST)
Hi Dennis,
Thanks for complying and adhering with our policies. The restriction has been lifted from your account.
Safety Operations
Member (05/10/2016 22:38 CST)

Country of Residence: United States

Please explain why you believe that the account restriction is in error.: I did not know that I could not mention my web site ( in my private messages to my direct connections.
Now that I know that - I will try not to mention my web site and will try to send even less private messages overall (I did not send many in the first place).

Do you have any additional information to add?: It is response to
this reply from LinkedIn customer support:
Hi Dennis,
I'm sorry it's taken this long to get back to you and thanks for being so patient.

Thank you for the email. We have received complaints from members stating you are messaging them regarding your website which is against out user agreement and we treat it as spam.
The account restriction will be lifted once you respond stating that you'll adhere to the LinkedIn User Agreement and Privacy Policy from this day forward.
Safety Operations Support Specialist

It looks like my email reply to Shanky disappeared.

By clicking the box below, I certify that I have read and agree to LinkedIn's, Do's and Don'ts and User Agreement: I agree

Typing your full name in this box will act as your digital signature.: Dennis Gorelik

Update (per mehanizator request:
My LinkedIn:
dennisgorelik: (2009)
My business is sending out over 4 million emails per month.
Mostly these are job search alerts.
Typically it is not a problem to send 4M emails, but it IS a problem to make them end up in users inbox.
There are multiple steps that we had to do in order to improve email deliverability (SPF records, easy unsubscribe link, automatic unsubscribe bounced emails).
But that is not enough.
Some users do not care about "Unsubscribe" link in emails and simply click "spam" in their email provider.
The only way to unsubscribe users like that is to get feedback about it from email provider.
Unfortunately every email provider (Gmail, Yahoo, Live/Hotmail/Msn, AOL, etc) has their own interface for such spam reports and it is a pain to implement and maintain.
So we never did that last step.
End result - we are getting enough complaints to have mediocre email deliverability.
With some providers, such as AOL it was getting so bad, that our emails could not land even in spam folder. Our emails simply disappeared.
Users complained that they cannot get our confirmation emails and we could not do anything to help.

Amazon Simple Email Service to the rescue.
Since Amazon is sending so many emails, they have feedback loop implemented with most of email server providers.
So now we are getting all that complaints data and can stop sending emails to all these complainers.
If user reports our email as spam - we blacklist that email so we would never send anything to them again (so they would not report our email as spam again).

The reason for such harsh treatment is that penalty for us are pretty harsh too.
If we are getting more than 0.1% complaints from users (1 complaint per 1000 emails sent) - then it is considered suspicious.

It's interesting that it takes time to switch to Amazon SES.
Initially Amazon allowed us to send no more than 10000 email per 24 hours period.
When we started sending emails - Amazon SES gradually increased our sending limit (~50% increase every day).
Obviously sending limit increases only if number of complaints and bounces is low.
Now we are sending about 60,000 emails every day and keep increasing that number Amazon SES sending statistics graphs

How much does sending email through Amazon SES cost?
0.01c per email or $1 per 10000 emails.
In order to send 4M emails we have to pay $400.

Ban for reporting our emails as spam


dennisgorelik: (Default)
Dennis Gorelik

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