on Earthlink’s permission-based spam blocker app

So I just sent an email to someone. It’s one of those out of the blue, “I saw something on your website” kinds of emails. I get an instant response from the email address. So soon? No, it’s a “sorry, apologies, but there’s a one-time hoop you’ve got to jump through” message with a link to the earthlink spam blocker.

On the resulting form there’s a spot for a 100 character (max) message. Though the form says that the message will go to name@address, Earthlink doesn’t fully spell out the purpose of that message area, or its result. If they did, it’d be something like this:

“We’ll send this to [email protected] and that’s all that name will have to go on to conduct a personal Turing test to see if you’re a human being or not. It’s on the basis of these 100 characters that name will decide to accept your email address or reject it.”

What they say instead is:
“Please type a short message to name@address.
(100 characters, max.)”

No, the long text box was just there. So I typed something like, “Ah, so this is how you trap spam” which was my response to seeing the form, but sure as heck wasn’t informative to the person I just tried to send email to.

Okay, so I’m stupid and I typed an inane statement in this box. But Earthlink didn’t help to set up the right expectations.