Topics

locked FBL turned on for aol.com members


 

All,

FBL stands for feedback loop, a system that some large email providers (mainly aol, yahoo and msn, but not Google) have set up so that we can receive reports when their members mark emails as spam. The assumption is that we will unsubscribe these people.

The way we deal with these reports is the same as when someone clicks an unsubscribe link in a message footer. We unsubscribe them, and send a notice to them with a resubscribe link that's valid for 3 days.

I turned the system completely off last year because I was receiving reports from people who were being unsubscribed but claimed that they weren't marking emails as spam. I have no direct interactions with people involved in email at AOL/Yahoo/MSN, but I fear that us not acting on these reports may be the cause of delivery issues with these companies. It appears that AOL is partially blocking us right now, for example, even though they list us as having a good reputation.

I looked at the logs for FBL reports from AOL users. Over the past day, for one AOL user, we received 166 FBL reports.

So I've turned FBL processing back on for AOL users. And at some point I'll turn it on for the others. 

Please let me know if you hear from members who have been unsubscribed this way who claim they have not marked any messages as spam. One question to ask them is to look in their spam folders to see if any messages from us are in there inadvertently. Also, I'm open to suggestions for ways to improve this system.

Thanks,
Mark


 

Mark,

I don't know what the upshot is here, and what we should do in general regarding our AOL members. I just sent you an email this morning (I also cc'd Shal, since we'd been discussing this in GMF and it was getting complicated) showing that messages between my group's +owner address and a pending AOL member, *in both directions*, were not getting through. Since this incident (and similar ones) I have started to advise my group members not to use an AOL address for Groups.io groups. Do you have any better advice? I don't really understand what you've implemented and how it will affect AOL members at this point. I also have a couple of AOL members who still have not taken the advice and who are showing intermittent email delivery failures...

Thanks.
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. 

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


 

On 19 Aug 2016 at 10:16, J_catlady wrote:

I have started to advise my group members not to use an AOL address for
Groups.io groups.
Good advice, in general.

AOL was usefully for non-tech savvy folks to get online in the 80s. Now it
duplicates efforts of many other companies w/o additional benefits. It's
overzealous in "protecting" customers and is unresponsive on false
positives.

OTOH, those policies might become even more pervasive when Verizon
takes over Yahoo too.

--
Jim
Poston@...

<< He's not a dog! He's a 'Canine-American!' >>


 

Agree, Jim. AOL is an anachronism and so is EarthLink. I'd be happy if they both just went away.;)

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 19, 2016, at 10:38 AM, Jim Poston <poston@...> wrote:

On 19 Aug 2016 at 10:16, J_catlady wrote:

I have started to advise my group members not to use an AOL address for
Groups.io groups.
Good advice, in general.

AOL was usefully for non-tech savvy folks to get online in the 80s. Now it
duplicates efforts of many other companies w/o additional benefits. It's
overzealous in "protecting" customers and is unresponsive on false
positives.

OTOH, those policies might become even more pervasive when Verizon
takes over Yahoo too.

--
Jim
Poston@...

<< He's not a dog! He's a 'Canine-American!' >>



--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. 

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


Sharon Villines
 

I don’t have any better advice on AOL but the information is that AOL is a problem for all the lists I’ve moderated (a lot) and it is on the AOL side. They do odd things with list messages. I think to reduce the load on their server receiving so many copies of the same message. One list I was on — not a Yahoo or Google group — the subscribers had to go to an AOL site to read the messages. They refused to distribute them.

Sharon.

On Aug 19, 2016, at 1:16 PM, J_catlady <@J_Catlady> wrote:

Mark,

I don't know what the upshot is here, and what we should do in general regarding our AOL members. I just sent you an email this morning (I also cc'd Shal, since we'd been discussing this in GMF and it was getting complicated) showing that messages between my group's +owner address and a pending AOL member, *in both directions*, were not getting through. Since this incident (and similar ones) I have started to advise my group members not to use an AOL address for Groups.io groups. Do you have any better advice? I don't really understand what you've implemented and how it will affect AOL members at this point. I also have a couple of AOL members who still have not taken the advice and who are showing intermittent email delivery failures...

Thanks.
--
J


Messages are the sole opinion of the author.

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu



 

Mark,

Please let me know if you hear from members who have been unsubscribed
this way who claim they have not marked any messages as spam. One
question to ask them is to look in their spam folders to see if any
messages from us are in there inadvertently. Also, I'm open to
suggestions for ways to improve this system.
I haven't heard from any, and haven't seen the "Dear John" message you send them, but if it doesn't I think it should make very clear that your action was taken at AOL's request - that AOL told Groups.io that he/she (the unsubscribed person) had marked group messages as spam.

You could elaborate a bit further and suggest that if they find this happening repeatedly that they should contact AOL about the how and why of these reports.

-- Shal


 

Shal et al,

On Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 1:08 PM, Shal Farley <shals2nd@...> wrote:

I haven't heard from any, and haven't seen the "Dear John" message you send them, but if it doesn't I think it should make very clear that your action was taken at AOL's request - that AOL told Groups.io that he/she (the unsubscribed person) had marked group messages as spam.


Here's the notification. Please let me know if you have suggestions for improvements:

Hello,

Because you have marked one or more messages from {{.Group.Emai}} as spam, you have been automatically removed from the group. You will receive no more emails from that group. If this was a mistake, you can resume your subscription within the next 3 days by clicking the following link:

{{Resub Link}}

Groups.io offers several options for controlling how much and what types of emails to receive. See this Help Center article for more information:



Cheers,
The Groups.io Team


 

Mark,

 Here's the notification. Please let me know if you have suggestions for
 improvements:

How about this:

-----
Hello,

Because {{provider}} reported to us that you have marked one or more messages from {{.Group.Emai}} as spam, you have been automatically removed from the group. You will receive no more emails from that group. If this was a mistake, you can resume your subscription within the next 3 days by clicking the following link:

{{Resub Link}}

Groups.io offers several options for controlling how much and what types of emails to receive. See this Help Center article for more information:

https://groupsio.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/202739445

If this happens repeatedly please check with {{provider}} to learn about how they decide to send feedback reports to list services (such as Groups.io).

Cheers,
The Groups.io Team
-----

I don't use any of the services which you cited as providing such reports, so that last paragraph may be misguided - I don't know if the services provide help pages or otherwise provide a means for their users to learn about this feedback. I wouldn't want to advise the user to do something impossible (get relevant info from their provider).

Shal
https://groups.io/g/Group_Help
https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum


 

J,

I don't know what the upshot is here, and what we should do in general
regarding our AOL members. ...
This may not relate directly to delivery problems experienced by specific group members, but automatically unsubscribing those who mark a message from your group as spam might improve deliverability to all other members using that service.

That at least is the hope: less trouble overall for users of AOL and like-minded services.

The specific members unsubscribed by this mechanism may come back to you looking for answers. I'm not sure what help you can give them, particularly if they don't think they've marked any group messages as spam.

Since this incident (and similar ones) I have started to advise my group
members not to use an AOL address for Groups.io groups.
One upside(?) is that the affected members may come to that conclusion on their own if they are repeatedly unsubscribed by this mechanism. The flip side of that is that they may hold it against Groups.io as well or instead.


Shal
https://groups.io/g/Group_Help
https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum


Sharon Villines
 

On Aug 19, 2016, at 9:08 PM, Shal Farley <@Shal> wrote:

If this was a mistake, you can resume your subscription within the next 3 days by clicking the following link:
I would add, in the next sentence, You may resubscribe to the group at any time by ….

Sharon.
----
TakomaDC@...

Where Everyone Trims Their Tails,
Smothers Flames, Ignores Trolls, and
Never Sends Private Messages to the List.


 

Can someone clarify: would that message go out automatically, or is this a suggestion for group owners to send out when the member is unsubscribed due to this?

(Also: In light of this situation, I'll repeat here my recent wishlist/suggestion, which was unrelated to this issue at the time, that the automatically generated "banned" notice be changed to an automatically generated "removed" notice, since members will presumably in general be removed more often than banned.)
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. 

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


 

J,

Can someone clarify: would that message go out automatically,
Yes.

See the second paragraph of Mark's original post (#10753). Note as well that the message is signed "Cheers, The Groups.io Team". No group moderator should have the temerity to forge that signature.


Shal
https://groups.io/g/Group_Help
https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum


 

LOL! True! That would take considerable temerity. :-)
Thanks.
J

On Sat, Aug 20, 2016 at 10:08 AM, Shal Farley <shals2nd@...> wrote:
J,

> Can someone clarify: would that message go out automatically,

Yes.

See the second paragraph of Mark's original post (#10753). Note as well that the message is signed "Cheers, The Groups.io Team". No group moderator should have the temerity to forge that signature.


Shal
https://groups.io/g/Group_Help
https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum






--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. 

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


Nightowl >8#
 

Jim Poston wrote:>> OTOH, those policies might become even more pervasive when Verizon takes over Yahoo too.<<

Let's hope not. That would throw a lot of people into a quandary.

Brenda


Nightowl >8#
 

Shal Farley wrote:>> I haven't heard from any, and haven't seen the "Dear John" message you send them, but if it doesn't I think it should make very clear that your action was taken at AOL's request - that AOL told Groups.io that he/she (the unsubscribed person) had marked group messages as spam.<<

Shal,

I have a friend who was unsubscribed from my Hollow Tree group, who isn't even using AOL, she uses Yahoo. It claims she marked a message as spam, and I'm trying to reach her, (she's long distance) to find out if that is true.

However, is Yahoo doing the same thing as AOL in this case? Do you know?

Brenda


 

Brenda,

I have a friend who was unsubscribed from my Hollow Tree group, who
isn't even using AOL, she uses Yahoo. It claims she marked a message as
spam, and I'm trying to reach her, (she's long distance) to find out if
that is true.
There is a thread in GMF on this topic, I'd love to have a reply over there
if she can forward a (redacted for privacy) copy of any notice(s) she received, or a link to any Yahoo information on the subject.

However, is Yahoo doing the same thing as AOL in this case? Do you
know?
Yes, Mark mentioned it here (beta@), I don't use Yahoo Mail so I don't know first-hand.


Shal
https://groups.io/g/Group_Help
https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum


Nightowl >8#
 

Shal,

I'll see what I can do about getting a copy of what she received. Is the e-mail I received important to it too?

I'm trying to get caught up in GMF next...wish me luck.

Brenda


 

I just an AOL member who tried to log on last night and was told she's not a member. She turned up as "pending" in the members list, looking like she'd submitted a new application for membership, which I then had to approve. I got the "pending member" notice but she never got anything (or says she didn't - I contacted her to ask why she'd submitted a new membership application, since I didn't remember her leaving the group and found no such action in the log). Only later did I realize she's using an AOL email address and may have been the victim of the automatic removal. However, she also has a gmail address, and there's a slight possibility she'd tried to log on using the wrong address. I don't know, so I didn't bother reporting this. I'm going to wait and see if this happens to any other AOL members. I'm mentioning it now only because it seems to have come again here.
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. 

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


 

Scratch that, have now confirmed that the member tried to log on with her aol rather than her gmail address, which was the address she'd been using for the group. Her aol address, of course, was not recognized.
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. 

I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu


Nightowl >8#
 

Okay, Shal,

My friend called and said she accidentally marked a message as spam.

Does that mean you still want the e-mail she received, or is that not relevant now? I forgot to ask her to save it, so answer me fast. ;)

She was able to use the resubscribe link in the mail from groups.io to get back to the group page, but it had been too long to automatically resubscribe her. It said she was applying for membership, I watched her appear in pending and approved her again.

Hopefully no more problems.

Brenda