The San Jose Mercury News reports on yet another group blaklisted by Comcast’s anti-spam policy. This time, it was the venerable online community The WELL that got blocked, then had a devil of a time getting off the blacklist.
Having been temporarily blocked by Comcast myself, I can say that it is rather unnerving to find oneself cut off from a huge number of folks because you fit some email online profile (or, in the case of The Well, because a bad actor in your community created a problem). As I reported, my case was easily resolved, but The Well and others (such as afterdowningst.org) have run into trouble.
Yes, blacklists have a long tradition, going back to the old days when there were damn few of us online and cutting off someone’s access to your subscribers was unlikely to cause anyone any harm. Nowadays, when it is easy to spoof IP addresses and when getting blacklisted even for a short period of time can cause serious issues, companies should reexamine their policies. Given that Comcast is the largest residential broadband provider in the U.S., I really hope they reevaluate the usefulness of their blacklist policy ASAP.