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Does PlusNet's spam filter have learning difficulties?

br1anstorm
Grafter
Posts: 113
Registered: 24-06-2007

Does PlusNet's spam filter have learning difficulties?

I had thought, and hoped, that (like the water in the Sheffield streets?) the flood of spam to our PlusNet accounts would diminish as the defences and precautions were rebuilt and strengthened.

I've been trying to do my bit to help by methodically copying, pasting and forwarding to the despamchecker address all the spam messages that have been getting past the Plusnet filters and into my Inboxes.

The volume of spam seemed to decline. But just recently there has been another surge. Some are spams about Adobe Photoshop. But many are back to the Viagra/Cialis/p***s enlargement/etc theme, often announced in the subject line.

What puzzles me is why the PlusNet filters are not successfully identifying and blocking 100% of this latter category. Some spam messages are no doubt cleverly disguised to look like genuine emails. But it surely isn't rocket science to teach the filter to pick up and label as suspect every message which has "Viagra" or "penis" or "sexual" (or certain other words) in the subject line or text? By now there should have been plenty of examples reported which would have provided the basis for training the filter.

The filters used by other email providers and systems seem to do an effective job. So come on PlusNet - have you installed a spam filter which has learning difficulties? The verdict at present is - could do a lot better.

holmside33
5 REPLIES
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 12,805
Thanks: 636
Fixes: 62
Registered: 04-04-2007

Does PlusNet's spam filter have learning difficulties?

Hi there,

The topic of content filtering has been discussed at length in other threads on this board, most notably this one.

As it happens we are looking at the ability to defer email at the MX level based on subject content. This has the potential to block some of the more commonly used product names Wink

Any further feedback or discussion on the topic though is probably best kept to one of the other threads to avoid the same conversation being had across multiple threads.

Kind Rgds,

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Products Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

br1anstorm
Grafter
Posts: 113
Registered: 24-06-2007

Does PlusNet's spam filter have learning difficulties?

Thanks for your reply Bob, and apologies for starting a new thread - after posting my message I did indeed find the other one you indicated, and have read through it.

That said, what struck me is that several people have (in various different ways) raised exactly the same question as me: why isn't the PlusNet spam filter blocking the very obvious spams (Viagra, Wonderc*m, etc)?

I think we all have to recognise there's no magic fix for the spam problem. Some will always get through, if they are carefully drafted or heavily disguised. And we all realise that PlusNet doesn't have the resources or capacity of Google - as Ian Wild's exculpatory and apologetic post pleaded.

But the point remains that even now, many weeks down the track, the PlusNet filter doesn't seem to be able to spot and block the most obvious and blatant spam messages. It surely can't be a matter of sophisticated technology, complex Bayesian formulae, or huge cost. What most people... and their mothers-in-law! - want is for the filter to spot the very obviously obscene spams, especially those that in effect announce themselves as such in the subject line!

So in this thread and the other larger one, we're still waiting for a straight answer to what seems to be a simple question. And a satisfactory answer would incidentally presumably also reduce the number of petulant, angry and exasperated posts in the forum!

holmside33
Nick_Russell
Grafter
Posts: 553
Registered: 10-05-2007

Does PlusNet's spam filter have learning difficulties?

The BT Openworld SPAM filters are EXCELLENT. How about someone from PlusNet giving them a ring? You can probably give then a call on an internal 'phone!!!
mapletree
Grafter
Posts: 644
Registered: 28-07-2007

Does PlusNet's spam filter have learning difficulties?

LOL!

IMHO dspam appears to be a very inflexible tool and is just not capable of the job. Judging from all the posts on the same topic there are a lot of people unhappy with the accuracy of the filter. I think PN's top priority right now is to find a better solution, otherwise they will lose a lot more customers.

M
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Does PlusNet's spam filter have learning difficulties?

Lets use the thread that Bob linked;
http://portal.plus.net/central/forums/viewtopic.php?t=56824

Jonathan
aka Chilly