The result is that you'll get a ton of bounces, complaints, and a gernal flood of e-mail traffic. It's a flood you may not be able or willing to deal with.
I find this rather timely. Just last week, several of us were having a discussion at work about the SPAM problem. One of the ideas tossed about was to implement a system that would make it easy for any MTA (Mail Transfer Agent--the programs that deliver e-mail on the Internet) to verify that a message that claims to be from firstname.lastname@example.org really is from a yahoo.com user.
This is technically doable. And it might be a good idea. Especially, as I argued, if one of the other big players (AOL or MSN/Hotmail) jumps on board and uses the same technique. If either one began to do the same, I expect that a domino effect would follow. Boom. Instant adoption.
That'd go a long way toward ending the perception that Yahoo Mail accounts generate lots of SPAM. (Yes, they'd still attract SPAM, but that's a different problem.) However, one interesting objection was raised during the debate...
Wouldn't that just cause spammers to prey on domains that are less equipped to "swallow a few million bounces per hour without breaking a sweat"? (To paraphrase a co-worker.)
Maybe it would. But maybe that would simply be necessary (in the very short term) while other ISPs and companies worked to adopt the same techniques that we'd use? (They're not difficult at all.) Or maybe when Yahoo was no longer "shielding" the small guys, users would truly be outraged by the sheer size of the SPAM problem and finally motivate the govenment to do something about it?
You can argue either way, but the core issue seems to be one of corporate responsibility vs. technological evolution.
What's Yahoo's responsibility? Or MSN/Hotmail's? Or AOL's?
What would you do? What do you think?
Posted by jzawodn at February 03, 2003 08:45 PM