It’s nice that many of the major mail providers give you the ability to report a message you’ve received as spam … but some of them make it far TOO easy to report something as spam.
I’ve noticed that many of the big names put the “Report as spam” button way too close to the delete button.
Let’s take a look at some of the providers …
First is GMail … one of the most popular (and, at least in my opinion, most powerful) free email providers around. Notice where the “Report spam” button is?
A few pixels to the left and that message you meant to delete is now considered spam.
Next is AOL …
Again, if you’re off by a little bit you’ve reported a message you wanted to discard as spam.
Hotmail is just as bad …
Yahoo is a LITTLE bit better …
… but not by a whole lot. There is significant separation between the spam button and other buttons, but it’s still pretty easy to accidentally click the wrong button.
One thing that AOL, Gmail, and Yahoo have in common is the fact that they don’t ask for confirmation when you are reporting a message as spam.
Hotmail does ask you to confirm your spam report:
By and large, I’m sure the number of false positive spam reports are relatively small relative to the spam that is received … but the spam reports are used to evaluate future email sent to a person … so those false positive reports end up hurting legitimate mail senders (like midrange.com).
Personally, I appreciate the steps the mail providers are taking to combat spam, but I think they need to be a bit more responsible about it and take proactive steps to avoid false positives.