Below are known issues that may be affecting some Groups users:
Spam (current forecast: stormy)
We recently announced improvements that we made to the spam filter (Spam Guard) within Groups. The changes we implemented were meant to reduce the number of both false positives (legitimate Groups mail that is wrongly tagged “spam”) and false negatives (real spam that doesn’t get tagged).
And while we’ve seen some positive effects on false negatives (i.e. more real spam is being caught), we’ve also gotten useful feedback from the community that many groups are also experiencing a rise in false positives. We’re currently exploring how we can further adjust our rules to stop these false positives without completely rolling back our changes (and therefore letting more spam through). We’ll update you when we have progress to report.
In the mean time, if your group is experiencing this problem with false positives, you always have the option to turn the spam filter off (although we hope only temporarily).
Finally, we’d like to take a moment to thank the moderators who have been using the new “delete as spam” button on the pending message moderation pages. By using this button (and by approving messages from the “pending spam” page that were falsely tagged as spam), you help make the system smarter, which in the long run will improve Spam Guard for everyone.
Issues with Hotmail (current forecast: cloudy with clearer skies on the horizon)
Hotmail, as many of you are aware, bounces significant percentages of email from Yahoo! Groups. Yahoo! Groups is delivering the messages to Hotmail; but instead of delivering these messages to their users, Hotmail is rejecting them. Fortunately, there is some good news on the horizon.
One reason Hotmail bounces messages is a problem best described as “too many hops”. Because of the size of Yahoo! Groups (we send more mail than anyone else in the world) and the way our backend systems are designed to handle this scale, messages are frequently passed through many different servers, with each of these servers representing “a hop”. Unfortunately, Hotmail rejects mail that exceeds a certain number of hops. This is a reasonable step to take (as a way to protect against infinite loops), except that Hotmail (and Exchange Server by default), has set their limit so low (at 15 hops) that many Yahoo Groups messages, particularly those posted to moderated groups, exceed the limit and are bounced. Hotmail has been unwilling or unable to raise this limit, either for all email regardless of the source or for Yahoo! Groups mail in particular.
To address this problem, we are reconfiguring our systems to reduce the number of visible hops and expect this “too many hops” problem to be resolved by our next release.
However, this change will likely not eliminate all problems with deliveries to Hotmail (though it should significantly reduce the number). Unfortunately, it is all we can do on our end. As with all situations where email messages are bouncing, we are delivering the mail, but it is being rejected by the ISP or web mail provider. Which means it is ultimately up to them to correct the situation by providing their users with all the messages they are supposed to receive. So if you are a Hotmail user who has not been getting all of their Groups email, please complain to Hotmail and ask them to stop blocking messages from Yahoo! Groups.
If you are experiencing an issue not listed in this weather report, we may be aware of it but not reporting it based on the number of users affected. If you’d like to report an issue to us please do so via the Customer Care Help Form. Otherwise, feel free to post your questions or comments below.
Groups Community Manager