The new censorship

Fall sky from the soybean field
Fall sky from the soybean field

I recently read an article, Blacklisted in Cyberspace, in the Washington Post.

The article reaffirmed my thoughts that we are now having to self censor communications in order for them to make it to their intended recipients.

Having worked at an email company, Webmail.us now MailTrust, I understand the problem of spam.  I also am familiar with the scoring systems which determine what mail gets marked as spam.

Unfortunately some of that scoring makes it easy for your email to never reach the person to whom you sent it.  That is frustrating for all parties.  One of the great advantages of email is that it is easy to include links and photos.

It is an advantage only when it works.  I have been trying to connect to a friend who went to the same high school as I did.  I mailed him a normal letter a couple of years ago and that did not work.  I managed to get his email address and send him a note, but I got no response.

Another friend tried to help us connect, and I managed to get a message that he would like to hear what I have been doing with my life for the last forty years.  I sent a note back with several links and a couple of pictures.

I was pretty irritated when he did not write back so recently when Harvard defeated Yale in “The Game” I sent him a link to the article.  I went to Harvard, he went to Yale.  I got a flaming email back saying that he had been trying to communicate with me for two years, and the first he hears from me is a football email.

Well I sent him a copy of the email that I had sent over two years ago.  I got back an apology, and a response that he had no idea what had happened to my other emails.

I am pretty sure that what ever spam detection software he was using at the time  added up the links and photos in my email message and decided it was spam.  He probably never checked his junk mail box or had it set to automatically empty.  That was the end of my original email.

This will be a hard problem to fix in cases where people do not already have established communication channels.  I would be very happy if everyone used a digital id certificate.

However, I understand why they do not.  My Vista machine recently decided it could no longer send messages from my account which has a Verisign Class 1 certificate.

It is no problem on my Macs, but it appears to be a big problem on Windows.

I am not happy with having to limit what I send to people that I know.  But that type of censorship is the only thing that I know to do  in order to keep my email on track.

If you need something to melt away your frustration with this, try my December YouTube video of the North Carolina coast.

Author: ocracokewaves

An escapee from the world of selling technology, now living on North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks where life revolves around sun, sand, and water. I work at WideOpen Networks helping communities get fiber to their homes. In my spare time I am a photographer, writer, boater, fisherman, kayaker, swimmer, and walker of the beaches.

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