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Yahoo, AOL to Offer Business Users Unfiltered Mail Delivery—For a Fee
[February 06, 2006]

Yahoo, AOL to Offer Business Users Unfiltered Mail Delivery—For a Fee

By MAE KOWALKE
TMCnet Associate Editor for Channels
 
Yahoo and AOL are attracting attention today with their announced plans to start charging business e-mail users who want to send messages directly, bypassing junk mail filters.
 
According to an Associated Press story, both companies plan to start charging users a small fee—ranging from 1/4 cent to 1 cent per e-mail message—for the privilege of having their messages avoid passing through spam filters.

 
E-mail filtering using keywords—a practice that Yahoo and AOL have both long used to combat spam—sometimes falsely identifies legitimate messages as junk mail. The companies say that that the new plans will give business users a way to avoid having messages erroneously filtered out.
 
But some users—especially from companies that use e-mail to market their products—say that the new service amounts to e-mail taxation.
 
By charging the sender, marketers argue, AOL and Yahoo are threatening legitimate e-mail marketing, not just phishing and other scams.
 
AOL and Yahoo say that the new service is completely optional—users can still continue sending mail as they always have, taking the risk that some messages may be mistakenly identified as spam.
 
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Mae Kowalke previously wrote for Cleveland Magazine in Ohio and The Burlington Free Press in Vermont. To see more of her articles, please visit Mae Kowalke’s columnist page.
 

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