I recently have been missing some emails from distribution lists that I have been able to receive in the past (for at least 5 years). It turns out Comcast started diverting them to the Spam folder. These emails originate from US Government sources and have domains ending in < .gov>.
After several exasperating hours with tehcnical support I finally got to the Security Assurance folks and was trold that even though I had not identified thexse emails as Spam, iof enough other people had flagged them as Spam, the Comcast system would declare them all as Spam and we would not receive them (except in our Spam folders, assuming we have the settings checked to save a copy to the Spam folder).
This is incomprehensible to me. Why would federal emails (info from OPM, or other Government lists that I signed up for) get filtered from my inbox as Spam without my consent?
The only option given to me by Comcast is to turn off Spam filtering. That seems like it will expose me to all the Spam just to get the email I am supposed to be getting.
Does anyone out there have any insight or alternative answers?
The information you were given is essentially correct. There are a lot of things that are used in spam filtering systems to try to control the endless supply of junk mail. One of the more important ones is user input. If a lot of people are marking emails from some particular source, or with certain content or subject lines etc, it can and will influence what gets sent to your Spam folder.
Another option is to change your subscription information with the sender and use some other email address you have from a different provider like Gmail or Outlook.com.
Thanks for the response. I guess I understand the logic from a technical standpoint, but from an operational or user perspective it still seems problematic. I think my concern is that someone else’s vote can keep me from getting emails from legitimate sources without my knowledge.
I understand and appreciate your suggested workarounds. They add some overhead to be sure, but I will consider if they might be prudent for some of the lists.
I did a little reading offline and another potential factor seems to be the possibility of bounces from invalid addresses - if the server gets too many invalid recipient hits it blocks the sender that sent the mail. In my case, some of these are retiree distribution lists aimed at an older population, and thus there may be a higher number of people with accounts being closed for the age-associated reasons. If that is in fact a reason for a sender to get blacklisted, I think it is a more probable explanation (for these particular lists) than getting flagged as spam.
I think one of the things that troubles me is that a “.gov” sender can ever get blocked as spam without the recipient being aware. I suppose some might consider repetitive government notices to be Spam and want to turn them off, and that is their right...but that shouldn’t block others from getting info they think is useful (or even highly important). It seems that Government senders should be exempted from blocklisting - but that is a policy discussion rather than technical.
Thanks again for the insights and suggestions.