BlogicBlog: View from the trenches

The blog about Java and XML with focus on troubleshooting issues and tools.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Gmail and the periodic spam filtering failure

Permanent article link

Gmail is usually pretty good about spam filtering. But not at the moment. As of the last 2 or 3 days, the spam I know it caught before is now ending up in my mailbox. And I think I know why.

The same thing happened over Christmas. Suddenly all the spam appeared in my inbox. I had a theory then and it seems to be confirmed now.

I think Gmail team drops their filtering level around big celebrations (Valentine's day is coming up). Around these events, people send to each other emails that differ from their normal day to day activities (warning: humour). It is very possible that normal Gmail's algorithms would treat celebratory emails as spam and people would end up loosing messages.

So, to avoid classifying good emails as spam, Gmail team drop the filtering level. That in turn makes some spam emails look normal which annoys people in a different (more habitual and therefore less important) way.

I hope this is not the case and that I am just observing some fixable glitches, but this is the second time now and therefore is a coincidence (up from the chance). If it happens again around may (mother's day), I would think I have a full blown theory.

Oh and any Gmail engineer is more than welcome to comment. :-)

BlogicBlogger Over and Out

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home