There's Finally an Easier Way to Unsubscribe From Annoying Newsletters

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Feb. 25 2014 12:14 PM

There's Finally an Easier Way to Unsubscribe From Annoying Newsletters

gmaildone_1
The unsubscribe button is movin' on up.

Screencaps by Lily Hay Newman.

Our inboxes are pretty out of control, but Gmail has taken steps to address the issue and help us get organized. Adding an easy-to-find unsubscribe button is a solid next step. And it's happening.

Gmail began the unsubscribe wars in 2009 by adding a feature that let you unsubscribe from something you were marking as spam. Shortly after, an update made it so that you didn't have to mark something as spam to have access to the unsubscribe button. It was in "Show Details."

Advertisement

The Gmail team wrote:

This only works for some senders right now. We're actively encouraging senders to support auto-unsubscribe—we think 100% should. We won't provide the unsubscribe option on messages from spammers: we can't trust that they'll actually unsubscribe you, and they might even send you more spam.

The issue is that you don't want to be unsubscribing from emails that are genuinely spam because you don't want to be clicking anything in those emails. But, as IT World reports, it's also problematic to mark as spam emails that are really just newsletters or mailings you no longer want, or got on by accident. If enough people mark something as spam when they should unsubscribe, legitimate mail sources could be unfairly penalized (though they would deserve some type of punishment if enough people hated their emails to make this scenario happen).

Gmail's new solution is to bring the unsubscribe button out of "Show Details" (which is now the tiny down arrow next to information about a message's recipient) and into the big leagues. Now it will show up next to the sender's address in marketing emails so you don't resort to marking things as spam after searching for that tiny unsubscribe button at the bottom of marketing emails. It's the little things in life.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.

TODAY IN SLATE

Doublex

Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Lifetime Didn’t Find the Steubenville Rape Case Dramatic Enough. So They Added a Little Self-Immolation.

No, New York Times, Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman” 

Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.
Behold
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.