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Unsubscribing feature in Gmail

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

Thursday, July 23, 2009
13 years ago3,294 views

Google now sometimes pop up an "unsubscribe from newsletter" box when you mark a message as spam, they say. The dialog reads:

"Unsubscribe from ... ?
In addition to marking this message as spam, Gmail can attempt to automatically unsubscribe you from ... by sending an unsubscribe request on your behalf ...
[Unsubscribe and report spam] [Report spam] [Cancel]"


Google's post:

KMB [PersonRank 7]

13 years ago #

How about email lists from Google Apps? Will users be able to unsubscribe for themself? And why should you report spam from decent newsletters?

Surly Teabag [PersonRank 2]

13 years ago #

> Will users be able to unsubscribe for themself?

From Google's post above:
'If you want to unsubscribe without reporting the message as spam, click "show details" in the top-right corner of the message, then click "Unsubscribe from this sender."'

> And why should you report spam from decent newsletters?

It depends on how you use the spam filter. From the official Gmail blog:

'Sometimes people are afraid to report a message because they aren't sure if it is "really" spam or not. Our opinion is that if you didn't ask for it and you don't want it, it's spam to you, and it should be reported. We'll sort it out on our side.'

The above link gives more insight into the effects of categorizing something as spam.

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I think we should differenciate spam et bacn.

<< term given to electronic messages which have been subscribed to and are therefore not unsolicited but are often unread by the recipient for a long period of time, if at all. Bacn has been described as "email you want but not right now">> –

If I have a nice newsletter and never spam anyone, I don't want some stupid subscribers to report it as spam because they're lazy to click the "unsubscribe" button.

Actually, I hate email newsletter (that what RSS is for), but still, Gmail's method doesn't look right.

KMB [PersonRank 7]

13 years ago #

[put at-character here]Surly: Big fail.
1. It was about the support of email headers like "List-Unsubscribe" in Google Apps email lists.
2. Normal newsletter like sport club news, isnt't unwanted from the start, like Jérôme points out.

Surly Teabag [PersonRank 2]

13 years ago #

[put at-character here]KMB: I guess I misinterpreted your second question. My apologies.

2. A scenario where newsletters (or corporate junk mail) are unwanted is when they were never subscribed to (at least by the owner of the e-mail address). It can be unclear whether someone else signed up for them, using your e-mail address accidentally, or if it is some kind of spam, pretending to be a misaddressed e-mail. I used to never mark something as spam if it had an "Unsubscribe" link, but I have become suspicious that this may be used by spammers to verify an address.

I understand why people see this question differently. I used to be very careful about only categorizing obviously illicit stuff as spam. But one of my accounts has gotten a lot of incorrectly addressed e-mail. So I've started labelling things I don't ever want to see again as "spam". (Like multiply-forwarded lists of jokes and pictures of cats sent from strangers). I haven't noticed any ill effects so far, and it seems like this strategy is encouraged by the Gmail people.

But I agree with Jérôme's point: If there is a straightforward way to unsubscribe and the e-mail looks legitimate, I just unsubscribe without marking it as spam. The "Unsubscribe and mark as spam" button makes me uneasy.

However, it seems like the webmail people are just responding to how a lot of users have already been using the spam filter for some time. See this post:

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