moderated Re: Outlook Rules


As the situations described clearly indicate, e-mail filtering occurs at multiple steps of the receiving process, and where something ends up often depends on "who gets to it first."  In addition, and I'm glad Robin pointed this out, there are now (and have been for a while) feedback loops in and between e-mail service providers where the result of not all that many marking something as Junk/Spam ends up getting messages that are similar in the Junk/Spam filters of the e-mail service providers.

There was a huge problem with this (which seems to have subsided with user education, at least somewhat) with messages being classified as spam because people were marking messages/topics they didn't like/want to see more of as spam, rather than using the Mute this Topic feature, and marking as spam was fed up to their email service providers and eventually ended up on their Spam filtering lists.  This was somewhat solved when various providers were contacted and informed that was a subscription service only.  No one gets random messages from this site, you have to sign up to receive them, so by definition they are not spam.

Another thing is that in the age of IMAP and Exchange email protocols, where the vast majority of the filtering and all long term storage is intended to occur on the server side, not on a client's computer in their chosen e-mail client, filters should really be created on the email server via the web interface a given service provider gives for doing so.  These, of course, vary by provider.  This is particularly useful for avoiding different things being randomly classified differently, as all the classification is handled on the email server before you ever see the messages on your device(s).  I wrote tutorial strictly related to Gmail about how to do this for Gmail:  Creating IMAP Labels (Folders) and Filters for Gmail.  If you're accessing your e-mail account(s) on multiple devices the best thing you can do is to set up server-side filtering.  In the case of e-mail, it's simple to set up a series of filters based on the square bracket enclosed group name that comes on the messages.  It's also easy to set up a filter that uses the domain in a From: address with a "never send to spam" designation, if that ends up being needed.


Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 2004, Build 19041  

The purpose of education is not to validate ignorance but to overcome it.
       ~ Lawrence Krauss

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