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