Florida’s Indian River County uses email for weather emergency early warnings, and AOL has been dumping them as spam.
I wouldn’t be to quick to judge AOL’s action here. Spammers could use similarly constructed emails to thwart spam filters, which could cause a whole lot of panic (particularly to the naive set). I am going to go out on a limb here and say this is not a bad move by AOL. If they can work with Indian River County to make sure the emails get through for Indian River (and only for them and others like them), I will have to call it a well thought out effort.
As expected, AOL is now allowing the county’s emergency emails through, but not without a side note. The lack of return address information and other data usually left out in spam headers, prompted the blocking. As an AOL spokesperson pointed out, mass mailing initiatives require some cooperation – something the county didn’t think much about.