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Companies Charged to Send E-Mail

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Original Title:
Internet Providers Set to Charge Some E-Mail Senders

Two major Internet service providers have announced plans to implement a program that allows certain companies to pay a fee that enables them to bypass junk mail filters and go directly to a user's mailbox.

The plan, which will be put into effect by Yahoo and America Online, will give the companies that take advantage of it a couple of rewards.

First, it will allow legitimate companies that send large amounts of e-mail a way to differentiate their messages from junk.

Secondly, and perhaps of more importance to the participating firms, it will prevent messages from being shunted into junk mail folders. Both Yahoo and AOL have long filtered e-mail by searching for keywords commonly contained in junk mail. The practice identifies much of the junk mail, but sometimes also falsely identifies legitimate messages as "spam."

The service would also guarantee that images or web addresses contained in the message would not be filtered out.

The plan is optional and would apply only to firms that desire the service. In order to participate, companies would be limited to contacting only those people who have agreed to receive their messages.

According to AOL, the American Red Cross, the New York Times and the credit report company Experian already have already signed up. Experts consider it likely that a number of banks and online retailers will also opt to use the service.

(This story was provided by News10 KXTV Sacramento.)

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