This Microsoft Office 365 Feature Sums Up the Current State of Politics in the U.S. Pretty Well

Like many organizations, Villanova’s default email system is Microsoft Outlook as part of MS Office 365.

Over the years, the spam filtering capabilities of Outlook seem to have gotten better.

When an email is flagged as being potential spam, it is filtered into either a Junk Folder or a Quarantine folder.

I wasn’t quite sure what the difference was, so I did a little bit of searching, and here is what I found on the North Dakota State University (NDSU) website:


Most of us know what junk email is. NDSU ITS and Microsoft have filters in place that can flag junk mail and put it in that folder. Some legitimate messages might end up in your Junk folder, so it’s always a good idea to move it to the inbox or right-click on it and not block the sender or domain the message comes from. 


Sometimes junk mail goes into a Quarantine state because the message is spam-ish or potentially malicious. Like Junk mail, you can choose to move Quarantined messages to your inbox or delete it. After two weeks, the quarantined messages will expire and not be accessible.

I don’t think the definitions are perfectly clear, but they are the best I could find.

Anyway, we get an automatic email every day that will list all the messages that were quarantined that day.

While I do find the occasional legitimate email in there, most of the time the system does a great quarantining email messages that I have no interest in reading.

Here’s a sample of the subject lines from the past two day’s worth of quarantined email:

  • Marjorie Taylor Greene compared Joe Biden to Hitler (again….)
  • Re: The Russia Federation Sanctions.
  • Your Signature Is Needed: Yellowstone’s 89 remaining gray wolves need protection
  • This is truly urgent (from the same email account that sent me the one about Marjorie…
  • 1 ‘Trick’ Reverses Nerve Pain? -Try Tonight
  • Wage & Hour Laws: Ensuring Compliance With The Fair Labor Standards Act In 2022
  • Double Points on Parmesan Truffle Fries!
  • Mastering Excel Pivot Tables & Pivot Charts: Number Crunching Made Easy
  • My opponent, Marjorie Taylor Greene, continues spreading dangerous misinformation
  • American bumblebee gone from 8 states
  • When The Ringing Won’t Stop, Do This For Instant Relief
  • I need your help to defeat Marjorie Taylor Greene and flip this seat into Democratic control.
  • The Most Harmful Toxin For Your Eyes (Hint: It Causes Blindness)
  • Marjorie Taylor Greene filed articles of impeachment against A.G. Merrick Garland
  • $20 to help us Defeat Marjorie Taylor Greene, that’s all
  • Sarah Palin lost in Alaska, Marjorie Taylor Greene is next
  • I have a plan to defeat Marjorie Taylor Greene in November
  • My opponent Marjorie Taylor Greene says joining the military is “throwing your life away”
  • Marjorie Taylor Greene stands with Putin. I proudly stand with the people of Ukraine.
  • Marjorie Taylor Greene thinks there’s a traitor in Mar-a-Lago who informed on Trump to the FBI

One-half of the quarantined emails are political messages.

That gives you a sense of what Microsoft Outlook thinks about political messages – they belong in Quarantine, junk email that is deemed to be spam-ish or potentially malicious.

And I can’t disagree. I don’t need my email to be bombarded with such messages. I am not sure why all of the ones I have received over the past couple of days are targeted at Marjorie Taylor Green I wonder if Microsft knows I am not a fan of hers, or if Outlook would quarantine those messages regardless of your opinion about Marjorie.

I do get other political emails that somehow make it to my Inbox, so I am not sure exactly what kind of filtering is going on at Microsoft. Preferably it would filter out all such messages, and I would never see them.

And once Microsoft has it figured out, perhaps they can train the USPS to stop delivering such mail to my mailbox…

P.S. I have to admit, the quarantined message about Excel Pivot Tables is pretty tempting to check out…

*image from XEAMS

74 thoughts on “This Microsoft Office 365 Feature Sums Up the Current State of Politics in the U.S. Pretty Well

  1. I get over 300 Spam emails per day most days, including ones offering me a concealed-carry permit (I’m the most anti-gun person in the nation) and ones offering a cure for a body part that I don’t and never did possess! Luckily, AOL’s Spam system is 98% accurate so I don’t have them in my face every time I check my email, but still …

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Good to know that! It seems most people look at me like I have two heads when I declare guns to be the worst invention of humankind!

        Yeah … perhaps so! Would you like me to forward them to you? 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Then I will definitely vote for you to rule the world! Or at least this country!

        Yeah, probably! I was having an email conversation a year or so ago with a friend and we briefly discussed shower heads. The next day, I had something like 15 offers ‘n ads for a variety of shower heads in my Spam folder!!! We ARE being watched and trolled!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish they could just automatically delete the junk mail messages, so you never even had to see them. Though every once in a while there is something that goes into my junk folder that isn’t junk and I have to rescue it.
    Junk mail I can handle, just gets thrown away. Its the spam phone calls that drive me crazy. Can’t tell you how many times a robot woman named Sarah has called leaving me a message to call her back about some supposedly urgent financial matter.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I block calls on my cell, this is our landline. Not sure how to block them there. And yes, we are probably some of the very few people left that have a landline still. But if I am at home I prefer talking on my cordless phone instead of my cell. Its easier to hold the cordless phone in the crook of my neck while folding laundry or doing something else. the cell phone is too small. LOL!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Wouldn’t it be great if political campaigns were publicly funded. Politicians have no shame when it comes to begging for money. I’d love to read the one about MJT and the alleged traitor at Trump’s beach club. I have to admit it is pretty entertaining to hear all of the stories people come up with to explain/excuse Trump’s illegal activities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder if they were publicly funded if there would still be alot of private money used…

      I just keep hoping one of these allegations will be the one that Trump is found guilty of…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No private money would have to be one of the stipulations with public funding or a limited amount. Republican judges would never let that happen.

        For someone who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and is a self-proclaimed billionaire who is successful at everything, Trump sure plays the victim a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Jim, I think outlook does a good job with identifying spam. When I check my junk email, it is usually all spam. Occasionally something important slips in there which is why I check. My work place also quarantine’s emails. I rarely check those notifications. I’ve never had a work email go to quarantine and I don’t use my work email for personal stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve had the opposite; I’ve had a couple of legitimate emails work their way into quarantine, but not into junk mail. But I agree, outlook does a pretty good job…


    1. I rarely check these folders, but I had a couple of contractors come out to work up an estiatme for some flooring, and it seemed odd not to have heard back from them. I found both of their emails in quarantine…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m with you on the pivot tables. I used to know those pivot tables and macros like the back of my hand. Sadly, the back of my hand has changed too… 😦

    On the other hand, what would I use a pivot table for now?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I just looked for my quarantine file and I can’t find one. Possibly our IT guy has control of them. Sigh. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to stay on top of the actions of MTG. I used to love pivot tabling. The accounting where I work now is too simple to require that. I think my excel skills are dwindling away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. for some reason, I have a quarantine folder, but there are no emails in it. However, we get a daily message from out IT group that lists all the email that has been quarantined… I don’t quite understand the distinction.

      You’re probably better off not knowing the latest about MTG.

      and I used to teach Excel for a while, and I always enjoyed working with pivot tables. Now that I no longer teach that course, and my job does not really require the use of pivot tables, and so my skills are likely a bit rusty…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I get very little spam, maybe one a week. I use apple product so I don’t know if that makes a difference or the fact that I rarely give out my email to websites. Either way, I am happy. Most of my email comes from WordPress letting me know what all you people are doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you are a lucky person – jsut one spam email a week! and yes, I also get lots of WordPRess messages, which I never look at, since I do everything through the wordpress app itself (desktop or mobile).

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s super weird that they’re all about Marjorie Taylor Green. Also, so sad about the bumblebees. I feel like I would have opened that one even if it was spam.


  9. My office doesn’t use the Quarantine filter (or doesn’t let us see it). When I mark stuff as Junk – Block Sender, it moves it to the Junk folder but that’s it… no blocking and I still have to manually delete it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Don’t even get me started with Microsoft email, the authoritarian that decides where and when to move things, what we see and what we don’t. Mine just got taken over again because they decided to combine all my emails, which I’d had set in differentiating folders. I can’t keep up anymore with tech sucking hours out of my life 😦

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.