Jacques Mattheij

Technology, Coding and Business

Ham or Spam? Gmail not to be trusted for important mail

I’m not a gmail customer in the normal sense. While I do have a gmail address that I use for access to some old spreadsheets in google docs (that I need to migrate away from there to Open Office but still haven’t had the time for) I don’t use it for email.

But I am a gmail customer in another sense. I communicate a lot with people using email and a very large fraction of those people now uses gmail either directly or by having google handle their email under some other domain.

This would not normally be a problem (even if I can’t tell who is and who is not using gmail) but over the last couple of months it has become a problem and a very serious one indeed.

People blindly trust in entities such as google, they hand off a good chunk of their day-to-day lives to google and never look back. That’s fine as long as it works but google has messed up their spam filtering now to the point where I can no longer reach people that I’ve been in contact with for many years reliably using email. This - especially because I can’t tell who is and who is not using gmail - royally sucks.

Basically email has become unreliable for me, I’m anxious when I hit the ‘send’ button, especially for important mail whether or not the message will make it. And I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only person in this boat of unwilling gmail users.

So if you’re (still?) using gmail for your communications, especially if it is using a domain that does not otherwise advertise itself as being a gmail run domain please keep a very close eye on your spam folder, google is no longer able to tell the ham from the spam and the number of false positives is extremely worrisome. And if you’re not a gmail user and you wonder why your contact is not responding verify with them if your message hasn’t been mis-classified as spam by google’s very much broken spam detection system.

Many thanks to several more persistent contacts of mine that helped ferret out the root cause of the problem.