Conference Spam Gmail Filter

March 25, 2011

If you have ever even thought about attending a computer science conference, you’re probably on a million mailing lists that send you conference spam: invitations to shifty-sounding Multiconferences and Symposia on such topics as Informatics or Cyberwhatever. I’ve found that Gmail’s spam filter isn’t very good at catching this kind of spam, so I’ve built up a custom filter that catches almost all of the conference spam I receive.

To get a little inbox peace of mind: in Gmail, go into Settings and then Filters and create a new filter. Change the domain names at the end of this string and paste it into the Has the words: box on the filter setup screen:

(multi-conference | multiconference | subject:informatics |
subject:"registration open" | subject:cfp |
subject:"call for papers" | (cfp subject:("deadline extension" |
symposium))) -from:( |

Those last two criteria prevent CFPs from people I probably know (sending from or from being caught in the filter. Change those to reflect the institutions you want to whitelist.

This filter has squelched a couple hundred pieces conference spam for me over the last year or so. Let me know if you have a filter that improves on this one.