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Is it possible for spam filters to block notifications from web forums?

Buggwrit
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Registered: 03-02-2009

Is it possible for spam filters to block notifications from web forums?

Hi,
I've noticed fairly recently that I haven't been receiving email notifications of new posts on subscribed threads on some of the forums I regularly inhabit. I can't find any reasons for this in my browser settings so I wondered if the mailserver spam filters might be blocking them. I have a spam folder in my email client (Thunderbird) and a rule to redirect posts with SPAM in the subject line to it but nothing turns up there. I see there are a few threads on here already about spam filtering, Cloudmark and so on but discussion at that level goes way over my head.  Shocked
On at least one of the forums involved one of the mods has reported that I'm not subscribed to a particular thread even though the settings shown in my browser (i.e. in my control panel for that forum) say I am which suggests, in that case at least, spam filtering isn't the problem.
Can anyone throw any light on this problem for me?
32 REPLIES
Superuser
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Re: Is it possible for spam filters to block notifications from web forums?

For spam messages to be tagged with [-SPAM-] on the subject line you must have spam detection turned on in Manage My Mail at http://email.plus.net/. However unless you've changed the default settings spam messages would then be moved to your IMAP Spam folder and not appear in your Inbox. Have you checked that Spam folder using Webmail (http://webmail.plus.net/)?
I assume you have Thunderbird set to collect emails via POP3 from your Inbox at mail.plusnet.net; as mentioned in the previous paragraph default spam filtering will have moved moved any spam messages into your IMAP Spam folder so they will not be available for download.
Regarding missing forum notification messages, The mods should have been checking the same profile information you see when you were advised you weren't subscribed to particular notifications. If you are sure you are correct, have you checked the email address registered in your profile? If you send a test message from Thunderbird to that address do you receive it?
Thunderbird can be set to pick up emails from your IMAP folders at imap.plus.net . That would enable you to view all your IMAP folders including the Spam folder, but you wouldn't normally be creating rules to move spam tagged messages to that Spam folder, the online filter would do it for you.
David
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Re: Is it possible for spam filters to block notifications from web forums?

I get very few - usually non - emails tagged with spam - they either get through or are blocked invisibly.
If you are concerned I suggest turning off the spam filer and see what happens
Buggwrit
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Re: Is it possible for spam filters to block notifications from web forums?

Hi spraxyt, thanks for your reply. For some reason this notification did turn up in my Local Folders SPAM folder even though it was not tagged with the word SPAM in the subject line.
I have checked the email settings in Manage My Mail: Spam filtering is ON, Discard obvious spam is ON, Messages identified as spam are tagged with SPAM in the subject, Messages identified as spam are moved to my main mailbox (mike) and aggressiveness of the spam filter is set to 1.
You're correct that I have Thunderbird set to collect emails via POP3. I've checked my mailboxes using Webmail. I don't see a Spam folder there but there is one labelled Junk which, in Personal Settings > Special Folders appears to be directed to Spam. There are no messages stored in the Junk folder.
I have checked the email address in my profile in one of the forums affected by this problem and it is correct. It is my main mailbox address rather than an alias. I should mention that I have received notifications from that one in the past so something seems to have changed and I was moved to wonder if this was coincident with the changes made to the spam filtering on the mailserver.
When you say Thunderbird can be set to pick up emails from my IMAP folders do you mean that I should change 'mail.plus.net' to 'imap.plus.net'?
At the moment Thunderbird adaptive junk mail control is enabled but I have just noticed that I haven't specified what it should do with mail it identifies as junk. Would it be best to turn the adaptive control off, or simply set it to move mail to a specific Local Folder?
Please be patient as I only have a fairly superficial understanding of how this all works.
Superuser
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Re: Is it possible for spam filters to block notifications from web forums?

Those spam filter settings in Manage My Mail should be OK. You've obviously changed the default setting for handling spam messages to leave them in your Inbox. In this case Thunderbird would download them and a message rule to handle tagged messages would be appropriate.
However, as Oldjim mentioned it is normal for days (or even weeks) to pass without receiving any spam messages so I wouldn't expect that rule to be frequently exercised.
Sorry, I'd forgotten Webmail lists the Spam folder as Junk. However it should remain empty since you've opted to leave spam messages in your Inbox.
Based on my experience I've no reason to expect any forum notifications to be tagged as spam. My impression is that the current Cloudmark appliance is better than the previous IronPort one in this respect. The "untagged" notification you've just received also supports correct behaviour.
Clearly Thunderbird Junk filtering thought otherwise and moved it to your Local Spam folder. Marking it as "not junk" should in time train the filter to be better behaved. Alternatively you could try Resetting Training Data in Tools->Options->Security Junk tab. Otherwise you could turn Junk filtering off (the approach I'd be inclined to adopt).
Regarding IMAP, if you have no requirement to read emails from more than one computer then sticking with POP3 is fine.
David
Buggwrit
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Re: Is it possible for spam filters to block notifications from web forums?

Thanks again for the reply. Once again the notification appeared in my local SPAM folder, even though it wasn't tagged as spam and in spite of the fact that I've added community@plus.net to my address book. I used to get notifications normally from this forum until recently. I'm guessing this is due to Thunderbird's junk mail controls so I've taken your advice and turned them off.
Regarding IMAP I do use other computers to handle my mail. I've set up the email clients so that my main desktop PC that I'm using now is the only one that deletes the messages off the mailserver after downloading. This is to ensure it is always up to date with received mail (though not with sent mail, obviously). As a matter of interest I have tried to use the proxy settings to enable me to use my email clients whilst at my daughter's house (different ISP) but without success. Would IMAP make that possible?
Superuser
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Re: Is it possible for spam filters to block notifications from web forums?

Even using POP3 you should be able to read your Plusnet mail when connected to the Internet elsewhere. The same mail client settings should work just as they do at home. Sending mail from a non-Plusnet connection does require a small change (which once made will work just as well at home). This is to use SMTP authentication.
To set up SMTP authentication on Thunderbird see this help guide. That guide shows use of port 25; I recommend using port 587 instead. Enabling of the new port was announced earlier this week and should bypass blocks that some mobile operators place on access to port 25 on external servers.
Setting up authentication for common mail clients is explained in the guides on this page.
David
Buggwrit
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Re: Is it possible for spam filters to block notifications from web forums?

Sorry, I didn't describe that very well. Yes, I can read my mail using other ISPs but not send mail. I had tried setting up SMTP authentication as described in the help guide but it didn't work. I might try again using the port number you suggest, although I have been using webmail when away from home so it isn't a major issue.
Returning to the notification problem the ones from this forum are still getting put in my local spam folder even though they're not tagged and I've turned off all Thunderbird's junk mail controls and put community@plus.net in my collected addresses. I've now moved it into my personal addresses to see if that helps but I'm running out of ideas.  Huh
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Re: Is it possible for spam filters to block notifications from web forums?

Quote from: Buggwrit
and in spite of the fact that I've added community@plus.net to my address book

This doesn't have any affect. To whitelist you have to go to http://email.plus.net, select the SPAM tab and add the address to the Approved addresses box near the bottom of that page.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Buggwrit
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Re: Is it possible for spam filters to block notifications from web forums?

Hi Jelv,
I think you may be misunderstanding the problem with notifications from this forum (which is different to the problem I'm having with some other forums). In this case notifications are arriving which are not tagged with SPAM in the subject line yet Thunderbird is still putting them in it's SPAM folder in Local Folders. This is a folder I have created in Thunderbird together with a message filter which directs tagged messages into it.  In the Local Folders junk control settings there is an option not to treat the message as junk if the sender is in one of the address books. Now I've turned off all junk mail controls in Thunderbird so that option is no longer relevant.
I'm assuming that whitelisting an address in the Approved Addresses box in http://email.plus.net will simply avoid messages from that address being identified as spam and dealt with according to other settings e.g. by adding SPAM to the subject line. The notification messages from this forum are not being tagged yet Thunderbird is still putting them in it's local SPAM folder for some reason.
Community Veteran
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Re: Is it possible for spam filters to block notifications from web forums?

Sorry, misunderstood.
I'm using Thunderbird and haven't seen that, however I have very few notifications as I've turned that off in the forums and instead rely on REPLIES TO YOUR POSTS
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Superuser
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Re: Is it possible for spam filters to block notifications from web forums?

Quote from: Buggwrit
… I can read my mail using other ISPs but not send mail. I had tried setting up SMTP authentication as described in the help guide but it didn't work. I might try again using the port number you suggest, although I have been using webmail when away from home so it isn't a major issue.

SMTP auth has always worked for me (using a Force9 account). Do you get an error message when you try to send messages? Does it work if sending from home (on a Plusnet connection)? Are you sure security (SSL/TLS) wasn't also turned on - it must be off?
Quote from: Buggwrit
Returning to the notification problem the ones from this forum are still getting put in my local spam folder even though they're not tagged and I've turned off all Thunderbird's junk mail controls and put community@plus.net in my collected addresses. I've now moved it into my personal addresses to see if that helps but I'm running out of ideas.

I wonder if this is being done by your rule rather than the junk filter? Does the behaviour change if you disable the rule?
I found this article about Thunderbird's junk mail controls informative. I think a Filter Reset could be worth trying.
David
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Re: Is it possible for spam filters to block notifications from web forums?

I posted a similar problem.  Not getting forum notification emails for a few days. 
http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,105334.msg898200.html#msg898200
Can this be a problem elsewhere?  I wonder if others are having the same problems.
RobDickson
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Re: Is it possible for spam filters to block notifications from web forums?

I think these two threads should be merged together.
I had an email from SloughFreegle marked as SPAM yesterday. No big deal, because I delete them without reading them anyway, but I thought I'd mention it.
I've clicked on the "Not Spam" link in the old webmail. Although there's a "Mark as Spam" option in the new webmail, there doesn't seem to be a "Not Spam" link.
Community Veteran
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Re: Is it possible for spam filters to block notifications from web forums?

I think I've sorted my problem out.
Maybe this will help.
http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,105334.new.html#new