Thursday, 20 December 2007
Blacklisted by AOL
I've recently received a message indicating that the IP address of my mail server has been blacklisted by AOL. That means any e-mail that I send to anyone at "aol.com" isn't being delivered. Although I can't tell for sure, it probably means that if you send e-mail from "aol.com" to "hasbrouck.org", AOL won't actually send it, but will delete it without telling you.
AOL won't say why it has blacklisted my address, or how I can get my address off their blacklist.
This affects my newsletter and other mailing lists as well as my personal e-mail.
If you sent me a message recently from an AOL account, and haven't gotten an answer, please resend your message from an acount in another domain.
If you are subscribed from an AOL address to my newsletter or one of the other mailing lists hosted at hasbrouck.org, you may want to re-subscribe from an address in another domain.
[Update, 11 August 2008: Now that I'm home again, I've been researching what, if anything, I can do to get off the AOL blacklist. As several commenters have kindly pointed out, I could ask AOL to put me on their "whitelist". Ironically, I don't send enough e-mail to AOL to qualify for their whitelist: I would have to promise to send at least 100 messages a month to AOL, but I don't always send out a newsletter every month. In addition, I would have to log the IP address of each subscriber. I don't want to do that, and even if I did, the software I use doesn't provide that capability. I'm not alone: the problem has been discussed on the Mailman users mailing list, and it's been on the feature request list for Mailman since 2003. It's sometimes possible to get the IP address of each subscriber from e-mail and Web server logs (if I saved all the server logs forever, which I don't do, and don't want to do, in accordance with recommended best practices for log retention). But even that won't satisfy AOL's rules . And it's not always possible at all, especially if the list is old, and has been moved from one server to another. So at a minimum, I'd have to switch to an entirely different mailing list management program, start retaining Web server logs forever, and make all current subscribers to my newsletter re-subscribe from a tracked IP address, before AOL would allow me to ask AOL if they might (in their sole discretion) choose to put me on their "whitelist". I don't think that would be fair to my non-AOL subscribers. I hope that Mailman is eventually modified to allow logging only of the "subscribe" and "confirm subscription request" IP addresses, without the need to maintain complete server logs on all Web site visitors. If that happens, I'll ask AOL to whitelist me. In the meantime, my suggestion to AOL users is to use another e-mail address if you want to subscribe to my newsletter or communicate with any of the people AOL has blacklisted -- and for AOL users to complain to AOL about their blacklisting practices, especially the fact that they silently blackhole mail both from and to addresses they have blacklisted, without telling you, their paying customers, that they have done this with your mail.]Link | Posted by Edward on Thursday, 20 December 2007, 06:11 ( 6:11 AM) | TrackBack (0)