wiki:faq/email/avoid-forward

Version 4 (modified by Dana, 7 years ago) (diff)

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What's wrong with forwarding my email to another provider?

Our servers are configured so that, if you want, you can forward email sent to your email account on our servers to an email address on a different server, such as gmail.com.

This desire is understandable: we should be publicizing our own domains and not be providing free advertising to Google by publicly displaying gmail.com addresses.

It's also understandable to desire one email program that shows all of our email messages, even ones sent to different email addresses. Who wants to login to multiple web mail programs?

The problem is that forwarding your email from one address to another is not a good technical solution to this problem and here's why: unlike most email providers, May First/People Link takes a strong stance against censorship. If you forward your email, we will forward all the email to the destination address. Other email providers, who have spam policies that will block all messages from servers that they think are spammers, detect that we are sending spam and will block us from delivering your email. In other words, they will refuse to delivery any email, including legitimate email, because some of the email being sent is spam.

The best solution to this problem is to have email delivered to your May First/People link accounts, rather than forwarding your email to another email address (directions for creating email accounts are here).

If you already have an email client that you know and love (be it a webmail client or desktop client) you should continue using that email client! Just because you deliver your email to May First/People Link does not mean that you have to use our webmail system! On the contrary. Most modern email programs, including webmail programs, allow you to specify what is known as a "POP" server or an external server that can co-exist with your existing email settings. You can configure your email client to simply pull in your email from our servers directly (the main information required to configure and email program to "POP" our email can be found here). Then, your May First/People Link email and your existing email will all land in your inbox, just as it does when you forward your email.

Please use this method! It will ensure that you receive all of your email, it will avoid having our servers blocked by anyone, and it will guarantee that your email, at least in the initial delivery, is being handled by a provider politically sensitive to your mission.

Before ending this FAQ, since gmail.com was named above, the question remains: why use Google at all? Why support their corporate/ad-focused model? May First/People Link supports two webmail programs (Roundcube and Horde/Imp) and supports a number of desktop email clients (see directions). By using these tools instead of Google you are investing your time and energy into a community the revolves around free software and progressive politics rather than building a community that revolves around turning your emails, searches, videos watched and web browsing habits into a commodity that is sold to advertisers, and most likely openly shared with governments.