Bona fide messages rejected as spam


Marc S. Glasser
 

I sent a test post to my new group from an e-address other than the one that I'm registered under in Groups.io.

I have the group set to accept messages from non-members, so I expected it to be held for moderation. However, I never saw any acknowledgment of the message at all.


After seeing reference (in another post) to the Activity log, I looked in that page for my group and found:

Non-member nycadre@... attempted to send message "test post" and the message was rejected because it was determined to be spam, via email

Is there any way to determine why Groups.io decided that post was spam?
If it didn't like the source e-address, how can I tell Groups.io that it's a real and perfectly valid domain?
If there was something in the content, how can I find out what it was so that I can warn others not to write whatever forbidden phrase triggered Groups.io's algorithm?

Enquiring minds want to know.

<-----2021-6-27-----MSG----->


Derek Milliner
 

Did you put a reasonable amount of text in the message body? I've found in the past that some filter systems will reject mail with no (or little) content. I have a couple of standard paragraphs to copy & paste for testing. A bit of lorem ipsum text usually works as well.

Bear in mind that 'spam' is a catch-all term for various mail misbehaviours, not just dodgy ads; a blank mail could be construed as non-genuine. Beyond that, Mark will likely be using some third party services as well as his own filtering so your false positive may be down to something unrelated to groups.io


Duane
 

On Sun, Jun 27, 2021 at 11:49 AM, Marc S. Glasser wrote:
Is there any way to determine why Groups.io decided that post was spam?
Probably not.  If Mark posted all his tests, then spammers would know how to get around them.  His most recent message about this - https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/28940 under March 30.  You could try sending a copy of the message you sent to support to see if he'll give you a hint.

Duane
--
Lots of detailed information can be found in the Owners Manual and Members Manual.


Marc S. Glasser
 

Hmmm...come to think of it, after I saw no sign of that post, I sent the exact same post from my e-address of record (copied and pasted the contents), and that one got accepted.

Are there two different sets of criteria for what is judged spam, depending on whether it originated from a member or a non-member?


Marc S. Glasser
 

...and why is there no notification sent back to the non-member that the message has been rejected, so that a non-member who sent a bona fide message at least knows that it got tossed out, and maybe has a fighting chance to guess what to do about it?

<----2021-6-27-----MSG----->


Bruce Bowman
 

On Sun, Jun 27, 2021 at 09:13 PM, Marc S. Glasser wrote:
...and why is there no notification sent back to the non-member that the message has been rejected, so that a non-member who sent a bona fide message at least knows that it got tossed out, and maybe has a fighting chance to guess what to do about it?
Marc -- There is a fine line to tread when you allow non-members to post.

Most messages from non-members are sent by spammers. I can't speak for others, but I don't want groups.io to respond to them with information about how they can circumvent the rejection the second time.

If nothing else, a response of any kind tells a spammer that they've reached a working address.

Regards,
Bruce

Check out the groups.io Help Center and groups.io Owners Manual


KWKloeber
 

because, as with spam/auto dialer phone calls, the best thing to do is ignore them, and then mark them as spam/junk/bulk/whatever your email host wants to call it  you don’t want to encourage them and gio doesn’t know it’s a test or from a member’s unregistered e-dress  


On Sun, Jun 27, 2021 at 09:13 PM, Marc S. Glasser wrote:

...and why is there no notification sent back to the non-member that the message has been rejected, so that a non-member who sent a bona fide message at least knows that it got tossed out, and maybe has a fighting chance to guess what to do about it?
 
<----2021-6-27-----MSG----->


 

Marc,

Are there two different sets of criteria for what is judged spam,
depending on whether it originated from a member or a non-member?
Yes:
"NEW: We are now more strict in what messages we accept from
non-members ..."

...and why is there no notification sent back to the non-member that
the message has been rejected, ...
Was there not?

You should have received an notice from the "mailer daemon" or postmaster of your email service, stating their inability to deliver the message along with a copy of the rejection code and text issued by Groups.io. Ironically, even such messages sometimes are diverted to one's spam folder.

If you're sure you were given no response that means that Groups.io blackholed the message rather than rejecting it. That's both rude and not what Mark said:
"Messages from non-members that are determined to be spam will be
logged as a Non-member message in the Activity Log, like Non-member XX
attempted to send message "MESSAGE SUBJECT" and the message was
rejected because it was determined to be spam."

The word "rejected" in that context has the specific meaning that Groups.io gave the sending service a 5xy error code indicating a permanent (don't retry) error, together with explanatory text. I'd be surprised if Mark used that word if instead Groups.io accepted the message then dropped it without delivery to the group.

If I was very certain that Groups.io blackholed such messages rather than rejecting them I'd post in beta about it - citing the message Duane cited as reason to believe your observed behavior was a #bug.

Shal


--
Help: https://groups.io/helpcenter
More Help: https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum/wiki
Even More Help: Search button at the top of Messages list


Marc S. Glasser
 

No, I received nothing at all back. Not a sausage. I looked for a rejection message when the Pending screen failed to show anything after a couple of hours. Nada. Nichevo. Rien.

I just tried sending the same message again to see what would happen. Same thing: Activity log shows immediate rejection, but nothing at all goes back to the sending e-address. Yes, i think this is rude, but Duane seemed to think it was perfectly proper behavior.

<-----2021-7-5-----MSG----->


 

Marc,

Same thing: Activity log shows immediate rejection, but nothing at all
goes back to the sending e-address. Yes, i think this is rude, but
Duane seemed to think it was perfectly proper behavior.
At the server level I disagree about it being proper, but I don't read Duane's reply as saying that.

Blackholing inbound email traffic is at the very least controversial, with some arguing that it is a useful or even necessary mitigation for excessive spam traffic. But I believe that having accepted the message the receiving service is obligated to deliver it somewhere that the addressee can access.

Or, to put it the other way, if you're going to decide that the message is unworthy of delivery, reject it during the attempted delivery transaction.

There was a time when virtually all spam filtering was content based, and it was deemed by some email services that those filters were too computationally intense to be run during the transaction; hence "accept in haste, bounce at leisure" was not uncommon. But that introduces multiple adverse consequences including backscatter. To avoid that some services blackhole the undesired message.

"Measures to reduce the problem include avoiding the need for a bounce
message by doing most rejections at the initial SMTP connection stage;
and for other cases, sending bounce messages only to addresses which
can be reliably judged not to have been forged, ..."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backscatter_(email)
(the remainder of the sentence seems to suffer from some editing confusion).

So, in a case such as yours, where the message originates with a verifiably non-forged address from a legitimate email service I think failing to either reject promptly or to deliver a post-tranaction bounce message is an unacceptable practice.

If Groups.io is in fact not rejecting such transactions then at the least Mark should be called on his use of that word in describing the new level of scrutiny.

Shal


--
Help: https://groups.io/helpcenter
More Help: https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum/wiki
Even More Help: Search button at the top of Messages list


Duane
 

On Mon, Jul 5, 2021 at 12:17 AM, Marc S. Glasser wrote:
Activity log shows immediate rejection, but nothing at all goes back to the sending e-address.
I think the question now becomes: Is GIO not sending a rejection notice or is the sending e-address not showing it to you?  Unless it's your own hosted email service, I don't think there's a way for you to be sure of the answer.

Duane
--
Lots of detailed information can be found in the Owners Manual and Members Manual.


Marc S. Glasser
 

"Is GIO not sending a rejection notice or is the sending e-address not showing it to you?  Unless it's your own hosted email service, I don't think there's a way for you to be sure of the answer."

I've certainly received bounce notices and rejection notices through this host in the past. Why do you think my ISP would suddenly decide to suppress them on this one occasion from this one server?

<-----2021-7-5-----MSG----->


Sugar
 

Thanks so much

What if the spam is a member and the member is not a spammer

In fact the settings ar correct and I still have to approve the e mails, even though the member is not moderated?

From: GroupManagersForum@groups.io <GroupManagersForum@groups.io> On Behalf Of Shal Farley
Sent: Sunday, July 4, 2021 7:45 PM
To: GroupManagersForum@groups.io
Subject: Re: [GMF] Bona fide messages rejected as spam

Marc,

> Are there two different sets of criteria for what is judged spam, > depending on whether it originated from a member or a non-member?

Yes:
"NEW: We are now more strict in what messages we accept from
non-members ..."

> ...and why is there no notification sent back to the non-member that > the message has been rejected, ...

Was there not?

You should have received an notice from the "mailer daemon" or postmaster of your email service, stating their inability to deliver the message along with a copy of the rejection code and text issued by Groups.io. Ironically, even such messages sometimes are diverted to one's spam folder.

If you're sure you were given no response that means that Groups.io blackholed the message rather than rejecting it. That's both rude and not what Mark said:
"Messages from non-members that are determined to be spam will be
logged as a Non-member message in the Activity Log, like Non-member XX
attempted to send message "MESSAGE SUBJECT" and the message was
rejected because it was determined to be spam."

The word "rejected" in that context has the specific meaning that Groups.io gave the sending service a 5xy error code indicating a permanent (don't retry) error, together with explanatory text. I'd be surprised if Mark used that word if instead Groups.io accepted the message then dropped it without delivery to the group.

If I was very certain that Groups.io blackholed such messages rather than rejecting them I'd post in beta about it - citing the message Duane cited as reason to believe your observed behavior was a #bug.

Shal


--
Help: https://groups.io/helpcenter
More Help: https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum/wiki
Even More Help: Search button at the top of Messages list


Bruce Bowman
 

On Wed, Jul 7, 2021 at 08:28 PM, Sugar Lopez wrote:
What if the spam is a member and the member is not a spammer
No spam algorithm is perfect.

In fact the settings ar correct and I still have to approve the e mails, even though the member is not moderated?
This is a totally separate issue that I will address in the response to your next email.

Regards,
Bruce

Check out the groups.io Help Center and groups.io Owners Manual