Gmail is a huge source of spam February 25, 2021 on Drew DeVault's blog

5× as many spam registrations on sourcehut are from gmail than from the second-largest offender.

# SELECT
  SPLIT_PART(email, '@', 2) as domain, count(*) as count
  FROM "user"
  WHERE user_type = 'suspended'
  GROUP BY domain
  ORDER BY count DESC;
          domain           | count
---------------------------+-------
 gmail.com                 |   119
 qq.com                    |    26
 mail.ru                   |    17
 mailinator.com            |    10
 yopmail.com               |     6
 aol.com                   |     6
 yahoo.com                 |     6
[...more omitted...]

This is just the ones which got through: most spam registrations are detected and ignored before they make it to the database.

A huge number of spam emails I recieve in my personal inbox originate from @gmail.com, and often they arrive in my inbox unscathed (as opposed to going to Junk) because Gmail is considered a reputable mail provider. My colleague estimates that between 15% and 25% of the spam emails sent to a mailing list he administrates comes from Gmail.

One might argue that, because Gmail is the world’s largest email provider, it’s natural to expect that they would have the largest volume of spam simply because they have proportionally more users who might use it for spam. I would argue that this instead tells us that they have the largest responsibility to curtail spam on their platform.

I’ve forwarded many, many reports to abuse@gmail.com, but they’ve never followed up and the problem has not become any better. I have had half a mind to block Gmail registrations on sourcehut outright, but about 41% of all registrations use Gmail.

It bears repeating that anyone with any level of technical expertise ought to know better than to use Gmail. I usually recommend Migadu1, but there are many options to choose from. If you’re worried about mail deliverability issues, don’t be — it’s more or less a myth in $CURRENTYEAR. If you set up DKIM properly and unlist your IP address from the DNSBLs (a simple process), then your mails will get through.

In case you’re wondering, the dis-award for second-worst goes to Amazon SES. They don’t register on sourcehut (it’s outgoing only, so that makes sense), but I see them often in my personal inbox. However, SES only appears at a rate of about a tenth of the gmail spam, and they appear to actually listen to my abuse reports, so I can more or less forgive them for it.


  1. Full disclosure: sourcehut has a business relationship with Migadu, though I’ve recommended them since long before we met. ↩︎

⇒ This article is also available on gemini.

Have a comment on one of my posts? Start a discussion in my public inbox by sending an email to ~sircmpwn/public-inbox@lists.sr.ht [mailing list etiquette]

Articles from blogs I read Generated by openring

Status update, May 2022

Hi all! This month’s status update will be shorter than usual, because I’ve taken some time off to visit Napoli. Discovering the city and the surrounding region was great! Of course the main reason to visit is to taste true Neapolitan pizza. I must admit, th…

via emersion May 24, 2022

What's cooking on SourceHut? May 2022

Hello everyone! We’re back at it for another month of news in the SourceHut sphere. Of our now 29,036 users, 630 are new this month: please offer them a warm welcome, and your patience, as they learn about the new platform. todo.sr.ht Comprehensive GraphQL-na…

via Blogs on Sourcehut May 16, 2022

Summary of changes for April

Hey everyone! This is the list of all the changes we've done to our projects and apps during the month of April. We'll also be reporting in our on position in the world, and on our future plans. Summary Of Changes Bicycle, released an Uxntal pla…

via Hundred Rabbits May 1, 2022