Yahoo and AOL to charge for some email

Written by Wil Harris

February 6, 2006 | 14:51

Tags: #email #junk #mail #phisher #scam

Companies: #aol #yahoo

Both Yahoo! and AOL are proposing new ideas for your inbox: pay-to-play mail. The idea is centred around "legitimate" senders of bulk mail such as banks, e-retailers, and others paying for the right to not be thrown into your "Junk Mail" bin.

As the war against spam grows more and more difficult, many legitimate companies are finding their bulk mail inadvertently confined to junk. This latest solution from the two net giants would allow companies to flag their mail with a code (theoretically costing about 0.25 cents per piece at the low end and up to 1 cent a piece) that would make sure it shows up in your inbox as a real piece of mail.

The benefit to this, of course, is that those pieces of bulk mail without such a code would always be dumped into the Junk bin, providing for better spam protection.

Person to person single emails would still be free.

Personally, I see this as a double-edged sword. Companies with a lot of money to burn will now be able to assuredly reach your inbox instead of your spam filter, even if their messages are spam to you. However, the whole process should also greatly decrease the effectiveness of spamming and phishing, as legitimate offerers would be willing to pay for the privilege and the assumption is that scammers would not, given the amount of mail that they send..

Got a thought on the proposal? Drop it in our forums... and if you pay us a penny, we won't even count it as spam.
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