What does FBL stand for?

Feedback loop

FBL, short for “feedback loop,” is a communication method between email users and the organizations of email senders. It’s used when the users want to complain about email abuse, commonly known as spam. The ‘loop’ in ‘feedback loop’ refers to the communication cycle involving the sender, the message, the recipient, and the feedback report.

As the Internet grew during the 90s and 2000s, so did the practice of “spamming,” or sending unwanted messages to a large number of people. Spam could be sent for a variety of reasons, but it’s often used for commercial advertising or malicious intent, like spreading a computer virus. The rise of spamming led to the creation of the FBL as a tool to report spam.

There are several ways to use the FBL, but the most common way is by clicking a spam report button in an email client or on a webmail page. When a user gets an email they think is spam, they can click this button to report it to their mailbox provider (MP) or Internet service provider (ISP).

The MP or ISP then sends a report of the complaint, usually in ARF format, back to the sender of the email. However, the sender has to be enrolled in the feedback loop to get this report.

Even though many people use the FBL to report spam, most of them probably don’t know what a feedback loop is. This term is not widely used and is mostly known to mail providers and senders of mass emails who are part of the feedback loop.

Example for using ‘FBL’ in a conversation

Hey, did you see that email I forwarded you?

Yeah, I did. It looked like spam. πŸ™„

I know right! I reported it using the FBL.

What’s FBL? πŸ€”

It stands for “feedback loop.” It’s a way to report spam to the email sender’s organization.