Yahoo Introduces New Spam Tools

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Spam is the curse of every e-mail service, not to mention anyone who’s ever opened up an inbox. But Yahoo is determined to try an eliminate as much spam as possible for its webmail service, and it’s bringing in some new tools to try and make that possible.

In a blog posting, the company anti-spam czar, Mark Risher, explained:

“Yahoo!’s anti-spam team has been using a “supercomputer” consisting of thousands of individual PCs — part of our open source Hadoop project — to help detect spammers. We’re teamed up with several top universities on this research, looking for more ways to find and block the bad guys even faster, before they can do their damage.”

Yahoo is also working with a startup called Abaca to help block spam by looking at its behavior. Additionally, Yahoo and Return Path are “relaunching our Complaint Feedback Loop for commercial e-mail companies. With the CFL, legitimate companies receive notification when users mark a message as “spam,” and those companies can then use that feedback to help them fix the problems on their end. For example, a company may have used a confusing subject line, or accidentally sent to the wrong mailing list; with the CFL, we can get that information to them so they can quickly correct the problem.”

Risher acknowledges that the new system isn’t perfect (yet), and urges mail users to use the “Spam” or “Not Spam” buttons where appropriate to help teach the system. But will it eradicate spam completely? Take a guess.