Information For End-Users
If you have received a mail modified by something called 'SpamAssassin',
PLEASE READ THIS PAGE IN FULL.
In most cases when this happens, it means that the company who set up your
web site has installed the software on their servers. They should have told
you, but they didn't. If you contact them, they can disable it.
Nobody in the SpamAssassin development team can do this, ONLY your ISP or
web hosting company can -- we have no access to their mail systems to change
whether your mail is filtered.
Why Are You Spamming Me?
If you are seeing SpamAssassin data in the mail message, then this
indicates that somebody at your ISP, your web hosting company, your
employers, etc. has set up a mail filter which detects spam and adds
these markings so that you can filter it more easily, should you wish to.
Why was the e-mail altered?
Your system administrator or ISP has implemented a policy to block "spam"
(also known as unsolicited commercial e-mail). Each incoming e-mail is scanned
for signs that it may be "spam", and if it is determined that it's likely to
be spam, it is altered to clearly reflect this, so that you can decide
whether to delete or keep it.
If you have concerns about the scanning policy, please talk to your system
administrator or ISP support desk.
Who are you and what are you doing to my mail?
We are the writers of this software -- we did not install it on your system.
As a result, you need to talk to your system administrator or ISP, not us.
Although we wrote the program, it is your system administrator who chose to use
it, and we have absolutely no control over the filtering rules set up by
We strongly urge ISPs installing the product to notify their users when
it's installed, and to not enable it by default -- but many seem to ignore
this advice. We agree, that's totally unprofessional. :(
This Is The First I've Heard About It!
You should have been informed that this was going to happen. We plaster
this message all over our installation manuals, website, etc. However, we
still receive reports from people whose first contact with SpamAssassin is
when it suddenly appears in their mail -- which indicates that whoever
installed it on their mail systems never bothered to tell them about it.
Unsurprisingly, we think this is a little unprofessional.
Typically the person to contact is your ISP's tech support department,
your web hosting company's tech support department, or your systems
My ISP Says They Know Nothing About It!
Recently, we've noticed a lot of companies who host websites, set up
SpamAssassin on those accounts. This means that all mail traffic
sent to addresses at that website are filtered.
Even though the ISP that you connect to the internet through, does not know
anything about it, the website hosting ISP is another possibility.
But The Message Was Not Spam!
Sometimes SpamAssassin will get a "false positive", resulting in tagged
mails which are not actually spam at all. Since spammers don't usually
highlight the fact that their mail is unwanted, unsolicited ads, SpamAssassin
has to try to work it out -- and it's not always easy to do.
But I Don't Get Much Spam!
Count yourself lucky, then! The longer your email address stays valid,
the more spam you will get.
It may not be a problem for you -- yet -- but others find it very frustrating.
Some recent research has indicated that several ISPs find their incoming mail
is between 40% and 80% spam, overall; and quite a few old-timers who've used
the same address for years, get over 30 spams a day.
If you don't get much spam, you probably find SpamAssassin more annoying than
useful. In this case, see How Can I Turn It Off?, below.
How Can I Turn It Off?
You have two options. Firstly, SpamAssassin can be made a lot less sensitive.
To do this, ask your systems administrator or ISP's helpdesk to "increase the
Alternatively, if you just want all your mail, unfiltered, ask your systems
administrator or ISP's helpdesk to "add your address to the whitelist_to
What is SpamAssassin, After All That?
SpamAssassin is a mail filter which scans, and attempts to block, spam.
More information here.
Roaring Penguin's enduser page for large chunks of this text.)