[unisog] AOL and forwarding

Joseph Brennan brennan at columbia.edu
Fri Oct 7 14:42:30 GMT 2005

We've had a few of these in recent months:

From: postmaster at aol.com
Subject: AOL email concerns for columbia.edu
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Dear columbia.edu,

You are receiving this message via our automated "Report Card" process 
(which helps analyze AOL's
Internet inbound mail) because our available data indicate that 
columbia.edu has risen above the acceptable
threshold for complaints:

*Complaint rate: 0.49%


We get the SComp reports, and almost all of the complaints are about
mail from outside the university, forwarded by our users to their aol

We reject some 50% of mail as spam or virus.  Some colleges do not reject
spam at all, but just mark it, and if we did that we'd be sending AOL even
more spam than we do.

What are other colleges doing about AOL?

Or do we forward much more mail to AOL than most places?  One reason we
might is that we run an alumni forwarding service on the main mail system.
Alumni get as much spam as anybody but it's not balanced by much mail
from our own users, so their percent must be pretty high.

Joseph Brennan
Columbia University Information Technology

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