AOL’s Spam Bribery Campaign

By Deane Barker on February 6, 2006

AOL to charge fee as way to cut spam: Marketers can now pay America Online to ensure their messages are delivered and not flagged as spam. How is this not bribery?

The certified e-mail system would require advertisers to pay $2 to $3 per 1,000 messages. The plan is optional, though AOL and its tech partner, Goodmail Systems, cannot guarantee that all non-certified e-mail with Web links and images will be delivered.

Nothing has changed except:

  1. AOL is making money hand over fist.
  2. Marketers have a nice, handy way around spam filters at AOL.

This will do nothing to dissaude hardcore spammers. Zero. Nada. Zilch. They’re no worse off than they were before, so why should they change? The economics of spam are the same for them. This just means there’s a new class of spammer: those that have paid AOL for the right to bypass the filters.

This is crap.



  1. So companies who send email that people sign up for will still have problems with their stupid filters, and instead of fixing their spam filters or ever responding to complaints they will charge a fee to guarantee delievery of an email. What a scam, this is a protection racket plain and simple. They create a system that screws people trying to send legitimate emails and then they charge you for the workaround? WTF? Time to send the “Do not under any circumstances use AOL if you want to get your email alerts” messgae to the thousands of AOL members on my company’s client list.

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