Bug report: Two things that suck about Gmail

Gmail is the best web app there is, period. It’s also my sole interface to email. It’s close to perfect, but a couple things keep me from calling it as such.

I get a ton of spam, in the low thousands per day, and gmail is pretty good about most of it, but it does generate a lot of false positives. Given that say 3,000 spam messages come in every day, false markings on 3 or 4 messages is damn good percentage wise (putting gmail’s filters as 99.99+% accurate), but it still sucks to miss out on legit email. I’ve found a couple places where Gmail is lacking:

  1. I have a few filters for mailing lists and email from my websites’ contact forms, which each get labels. Stuff I filter on sender or receiver and label should bypass spam filters. Today I missed several messages addressed to my contact form and one mailing list message that was merely someone’s eulogy of a lost friend. I don’t think spammers are going to guess all my filter rules and labels to get around Gmail’s spam-catcher so I think it’d be safe to skip the spam checks on any specially filtered or labeled mail. If you’re on a mailing list that gets spam, you should probably fix it through your mailing list software, not your client. I can’t have any false positives with private mailing lists (spammers will never join) or contact forms (it’s my first point of contact with outside strangers and very important that I don’t miss any).
  2. I get a lot of phishing scam email that makes it into my inbox and Gmail’s phishing reporting makes you think you’re doing something substantial (it requires the extra step and all), but in reality I’ll get several exact copies of things I’ve already reported as phishing scams minutes to hours after I report the first one. It’d be nice if Gmail would kill any and all future attempts that match previously reported phishing spam.

15 Comments

  • Today, December 14, 2006, Gmail server were down for some accounts for approx. 5 hours.
    No word from Gmail Team yet.
    Until we know the cause of this crash, we can’t be sure that this
    problem will NOT happen again…..
    http://mitanshu.blogspot.com/2006/12/gmail-server-errors-gmail-down.html

  • >Stuff I filter on sender or receiver and label should >bypass spam filters.
    Not really, otherwise my cunning ‘forward other email accounts to gmail but don’t confuse my inbox it by sticking them as labels and archiving automagically’ would stop working.

  • Amen, my brother. If I go to the trouble of setting up a filter, gmail should assume I want to keep track of that message and bypass the spam folder.
    Nick, your setup would still work in that case. It sounds to me like your archiving, which has nothing to do with the spam folder.

  • I now have all of my email addresses forwarded to gmail. I get over 200 spams a day with almost no false positives. I now empty my spam folder without even checking it a few times a day when it gets above 50.
    It looks like the spammers are starting to get better at tricking it, since two spams made it to my inbox this morning.

  • Spam rate with gmail is too high.
    i almost got 20 spams in an hour daily…

  • So, are you saying you didn’t get my email?

  • amanda, I haven’t gotten an email from you since Nov 2005, so I would say no if you mailed something recently.

  • I think that the easiest/less intrusive solution would be to add a new option when you create a filter: “skip the spam filter”…
    Instead of just archiving (as said above), I also label some forwarded e-mails, as well as e-mails from mailing lists… As you said, people should fix the spam problem on the mailing list software, but I don’t think that any mailing list will ever implement a spam filter as good as gmail’s.. so, adding a new option, along with the “skip inbox”, “star it”, “apply filter”, sounds like a good solution…
    if every e-mail which gets filtered and labeled would bypass the filters, the labels (except for personal ones) would be almost useless..

  • I did! I’ll have to re-create it.

  • I love gmail.
    I don’t get any spam at all!
    And I’m being deadly serious.
    None.
    And we are talking almost a year with gmail now.

  • I’m having the same problem with emails from one contact form. Sending a dozen plus from the form just so I could tell Gmail they were not spam did nothing. Does the ‘This is not spam” button have any effect other than moving that message to the inbox? It certainly does not seem to learn from it.
    As a workaround, I’m labeling all incoming mail from that form. That way, at least I see the unread counter under labels increment, which tells me that new form mail is in the spam folder.

  • After playing around for a while I have discovered that any email from an address marked as a contact will skip the spam folder. You can use this in special cases to make sure that emails do not skip your custom filters.

  • Google says it won’t be marked as spam if the sender is on your contact list: http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=9009&query=spam&topic=&type=f&ctx=search

  • Yeah, I know that Aron, but for web contact forms, the senders are random, so this doesn’t help.

  • I have the same problem here… ! There is no filter that says: For any email with this “Subject”, send the email to INBOX… This would solve the problem! Anybody sends an email to tell gmail about this issue???

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