This is really a two-headed story.
Because Dearaol.com is opposing AOL’s imminent adoption of GoodMail’s CertifiedEmail (an anti-spam program) that would require companies to pay to ensure delivery of their e-mail messages and clearance of spam filters. (This is where the two-headed thing comes in.) So, if the organizations and companies don’t pay, then their email may just be put right into the spam folder. Kind of reminds me of the old mafia days and movies where the store owners had to pay for protection, otherwise their businesses may just get broken into and robbed.
Kudos to CNET News who, upon hearing the claims that AOL was blocking email, sent out a test email to an AOL.com address with the URL “Dearaol.com” inside it. Well, the email came back to them with a system administrator note that read “The e-mail system was unable to deliver the message, but did not report a specific reason.” Hmmm…seems a bit fishy to me.
Now back to the second part of the story. Apparently the fee that AOL is planning to charge when it adopts this new CertifiedEmail program (which is being likened to an “e-mail tax”) could end up being pennies per email. That’s quite a sum for organizations that have lots of subscribers and send daily (or even weekly) email newsletters out. I can think of a few companies that I get newsletters from (The Washington Post, Audible.com, Netflix) that apparently would have to start paying if they wanted reliable delivery of their email.
If you head over to Dearaol.com you can sign a petition against AOL’s adoption of this program. Already around 350,000 people and 600 organizations have done so. I recommend that you join in. I find it outrageous that AOL is not only blocking their subscribers’ email (the ones who pay them money!) but are also about to adopt this so-called anti-spam program.