Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002


Just sent this email to one of our lecturers:


Just thought I’d let you know that the university email filter has been identifying your emails about the Computing Forums as ‘junk mail’ and has been delivering them to the junkmail folder and not to students’ inboxes. It seems to be because you have put the addresses of the mailing lists in alphabetical order; if you were to ‘randomise’ them then it should be delivered normally. I know this sounds stupid but this appears to be the case. You may like to take this up with the Computer Centre.

Best wishes,
Neil Turner
Final Year Computing & Information Systems

For the geeks among you, SpamAssassin was tripped by the SORTED_RECIPS and SUSPICIOUS_RECIPS rules, which scored 4.30 and 3.00 respectively and thus sending it over the score of 6 required for an email to be marked as spam.
incidentally, the email was about a forum session entitled “Working successfully at Microsoft”, presented by Graeme Chapman, a services executive in MS’s Finance Sector. If you’re around the University of Bradford at 2pm on Monday 7th February you’d probably be welcome – it’s in the John Stanley Bell Lecture Theatre in the Richmond Building.


  1. SORTED_RECIPS scores 4.50 on the filter? Eek. Didn’t realise something like that could go so high on a simple rule like that…
    Don’t forget that SpamAssassin can learn what’s spam and what’s not, though. Might be worth talking to your uni’s IT section and see about retraining the filter, if it’s a problem.

  2. Maybe the university set it higher than it really should have been set. Most of the ‘drug’ rules are set quite low because we have departments running courses like pharmacy and biomedical sciences which may refer to those drugs legitimately in emails.
    I don’t think autolearn is turned on. It’s turned on for email sent to this domain since I have some degree of control over the email filters.