Is Gmail’s Spam Filter Broken?

Is Gmail’s spam filter broken, or has it been circumvented? I’m getting tons of email spam this morning, after eons with virtually none.

The strange thing about the incoming stuff: There is no link, no image, and nothing being hawked. Just nonsensical collections of words. It reminds me a little of my long-ago Ph.D. thesis.


  1. I see this kind of spam all the kind – sometimes it looks like a story, but makes absolutely no sense. Or maybe it’s my blog postings – not quite sure at this point.

  2. You probably just made a new spam list. You might want to change your email to pkedrosky[@] so a scraping program can’t pick up your email.

  3. [Disclosure: I work for Boxbe [], a market based solution to spam]

    Even the best spam filters (like Gmail’s) break from time to time. The nature of spam vs anti-spam is an arm’s race that isn’t likely to be resolved any time soon through conventional (filtering) techniques.
    A little about Boxbe – Instead of using complex spam filters, we let the sender and the recipient determine if the email is spam or not.
    In practice that means that we only allow messages from senders through to your inbox that you have pre-approved, take a test or that pay a fee.
    Our users set their fees (or let us set them) according to what their time is worth (I recently suggested to another VC that he set his price at $99, our maximum, to filter bad pitches). If the emailer is a person (ie not an automated sender) you can optionally allow them to take a test (a captcha) to prove it. We take 25% of the money received and the recipient receives the rest.
    We have one click integration with Gmail, so we make it fairly quick and easy to integrate into your existing workflow.
    I hope that we can help with your spam problem.
    Randy Stewart

  4. Hmm… your PhD wasn’t on the positive correlation of Viagra users wearing Rolexes, was it?
    I think I’ve been receiving it in dribs and drabs.

  5. I’ve been having the same problem recently too…
    I have gone at least two years with only one false negative, and now I’m getting 5-10 a day! (but no increase in the actual spam I’ve received) and it looks like ordinary spam to me. I hope they fix it soon