Why is mail I send rejected with an “IB212” error?

Customers have occasionally reported that when they send mail to a certain recipient, it “bounces” back with an error message similar to this one:

host smtp.secureserver.net said: 552 5.2.0
This message has been rejected due to content judged to be spam
by the internet community IB212

The “smtp.secureserver.net” server is operated by a large company, GoDaddy, that handles mail for millions of mailboxes. The person you’re writing to is one of their customers, and GoDaddy is rejecting these with their private “IB212” spam filter.

When the error message says your message contains something “judged to be spam by the internet community”, what they mean is that it contains some text that, in the past, has made GoDaddy customers click “this is spam” on their end.

We’ve found that GoDaddy usually won’t reveal what the offending text is, but you can perhaps find it with some trial and error: try sending a message that simply contains your own domain name and see if the same problem happens. If it doesn’t, try adding more text until you see what the issue is.

If you don’t send bulk mail or spam to people, it’s unlikely that the pattern is something specific to you.

Of course, if you are sending messages that might make people click “this is spam”, you should stop doing that, because it makes this problem happen with text patterns that are specific to you, such as your domain name. GoDaddy’s own advice is “check your sending lists to ensure you are only sending to recipients who have selected to opt in to receiving your mail”, which matches the requirements of our policy bulk mail policy anyway.

As we said, GoDaddy usually won’t provide senders with any more details than this. If you want to try to get an answer from them, the best approach is probably to have your correspondent (the paying GoDaddy customer) ask them, as they have an obligation to him or her, but not to you or us.