Google Mail: Operation Cold Shoulder

ATTENTION CONSERVATION NOTICE: For a short period of time, I’m cutting us off from Google Mail as much as possible.   You might not get mail you would like to get.

vis.nu and associated domains are increasingly being filtered and blocked by Gmail– to the point where it is now severely affecting the day to day operations of things that I am responsible for.

The reason for this is kind of complex and manifold.   First, in the middle of last year, a security hole in a WordPress install was exploited on our webserver, turning it into a spammer.  The break in, discovery, and patching all occurred on June 17th of last year, but hundreds of thousands of messages were attempted in that time, a fair percentage of which are to gmail addresses.

Additionally, we send a lot of email to Google Mail which it doesn’t like.   All of our active mailing lists include email addresses hosted there.  Some of those lists can be high traffic, which Google (according to research) doesn’t care for.   Also, many of you who have full accounts on our servers are blind-forwarding all mail you receive to Gmail addresses, which means we are sending every message you receive, including spam, to those servers.    As you might imagine, that’s not well thought of by Google.

So, for now, I’m minimizing the server’s interactions with Google for a little while.   I’ll be periodically testing to see how we’re doing, but I would not be surprised at two weeks.   This works out a few ways:

  1. If you’re forwarding your mail: I’ve turned that off.   For now, you’ll need to log into the webmail client and check for mail on your account here.   Once we’re talking to Google Mail again, I’ll need to show you how to set up filters so that you’re not forwarding spam to your gmail account.
  2. If you’re on a mailing list: I’ve temporarily disabled mail to your address.   Once testing shows that we’re improving– on the order of days, I hope, I’ll turn it back on and let you know.   In the meantime, if you’d like a temporary (or permanent) account on my server for getting access to the list, we can set that up.  Contact me: you’re either getting this via email, in which case you can reply, or you’re looking at the blog, where you can leave a comment.
  3. If you’re a user and you’re sending mail to Google Mail: It’ll might fail, and it’ll point to this post.

I really didn’t want to do it this way, but nothing else I’ve tried so far is working.   I’m at the point now where I can’t communicate with people on Google Mail, so I might as well take advantage of that.

I’m going over the mail server thoroughly (again) to make sure that we’re well configured, and I’m going to make some changes regardless.