That's spam. And this: shinola.

I’ve just finished my 30-day trial of the Cloudmark’s brilliantly conceived anti-spam product, SpamNet. Ahh, if only Cloudmark’s users were as brilliant as the concept.

Cloudmark works on the idea that a large network of users (currently about a million) can keep up with spammers by flagging messages as spam, reporting it back to a central server, and notifying everybody else. It even uses a rating system so that false reports are supposed to get filtered out.

They don’t.

I don’t know how many people have to block a particular sender for it to become spam, but however many it takes, there are at least that many users of SpamNet who are either:
a) too stupid to know what’s spam and what they legitimately signed up for,
b) ignorant of the consequences of marking something as spam that’s legitimate,
c) inconsiderate of the other SpamNet users who might actually want that stuff that they signed up for,
d) incredibly forgetful,
e) malicious,
or f) some combination of the above.

How do I know this? Too many false positives. Not just from individuals, but from many legitimate, double opt-in email newsletters. Among the newsletters that were blocked as spam:
Add Me
– Several newsletters
– Change detection notices from

None of these are spam! As I understand it (correct me if I’m wrong), the only way for something to get flagged as spam by SpamNet is for a significant number of users to flag it as such. Apparently, though, a significant number of users can’t tell what’s spam and what isn’t.

Cloudmark could fix this. They could maintain a centralized whitelist of verified double opt-in senders. Then when someone tries to block one, put up a message saying “This is a verified double opt-in sender. Please use their unsubscribe method to remove yourself from their list.”

Without that, SpamNet users are subjected to the tyranny of the ignorant, and are missing legitimate email as a result.