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GMail, Yahoo! Mail Should Add a Block Address Button for Lazy Users

GMail Report SpamYahoo! Mail and GMail, the two most popular web-based email programs, have a "Report Spam" button which lets you quickly block and delete junk messages that have managed to gain entry in your otherwise clean Inbox.

Hit the spam button and the message is trashed to the spam folder. Google also learns in the process. According to a GMail engineer, the "Report Spam" action sends information back to the spam team at Google to help them flag messages and senders in future.

Unfortunately, lot of us are hitting the "Report Spam" as a shortcut to block emails that are really not spam. An MSNBC reports suggests that e-mail users typically decide whether to click on the "report spam" button based on the address and the subject line without opening the actual message.

That may be a slightly worrying trend as it puts legitimate e-mail senders (who are reaching you for the first time) in the same league as spammers.

MSNBC says that users also click the "report spam" button as a quick way to remove their email address from a mailing list. Imagine if hundred subscribers to a popular Yahoo! Groups mailing list mark their email as spam instead of unsubscribing, GMail anti-spam filters may go horribly wrong if it decides to learn from the action of these lazy users.

What GMail or Yahoo! Mail or even MSN Hotmail need is a simple "Block Address" button - no one has the patience to create an email rule to block email messages from an unknown sender but when they get an easy way to block messages from certain sources, they'll be more inclined to click that button instead of the Report spam button.

Related: Catch False Positives in GMail Spam folder