Postini Bug and False Positives

Ben at MailChimp takes us through it:
  • Postini causes wanted mail to not be delivered.
  • MailChimp tries to work with Postini.
  • Postini rather lamely says, "Yeah, they're known spammers."
  • MailChimp pushes hard enough and long enough that Postini actually looks into it.
  • And finds that it is an actual, honest-to-goodness bug where Postini is mangling mail headers. (Oooops.)
Remember what I was saying about how better spam filterers actually work with senders?

This is a perfect example of the type of situation where glazed over eyes and closed ears on the part of the spam filterer is unhelpful and useless. Postini was incorrectly labeling that mail as spam, and falsely calling somebody a spammer. But it took a lot of pushing to get to that point, before Postini actually investigated and admitted that they were at fault. It makes me wonder, "Does it make good business sense, does it make for a smarter and better spam filter, if you just assume everybody who asks you for help must be a spammer?" I don't see how it does.

(H/T: Word to the Wise)