"Automatic complaints are sent when a filter whose action is set to Kill after complaining is triggered. For each filter, you can configure who complaint should be sent to. ... The message body is also scanned for e-mail and website addresses. If any addresses are found, they're added to lists mentioned above." Source: http://www.spamkiller.com/Features.html
SpamKiller is spam filtering software. Its purpose is to scan incoming email for spam and take appropriate action in response to those messages that are identified as spam, such as automatic deletion. Another handy function is that software allows user to generate automatic and manual complaint emails which user then sends to webmaster of offending domain as well as any number of other recipients such as spam-reporting "authorities" and webhost and/or ISP of person sending offending mail.
Good idea, you say? Fair enough, you say? Well ... maybe. Note quote above: "... The message body is also scanned for e-mail and website addresses ... [and] added to lists mentioned above", i.e. list of recipients of complaint.
Now, imagine this. Let's say you're a paying advertiser in my ezine. Your ad contains your URL and email address. I spam mail my ezine or send it to someone who forgets they subscribed and they think it's spam.
Imagine further that recipient of my so-called spam uses SpamKiller software (or some similar program). The software scans message header and extracts relevant information about person who sent email (me). Fair enough. Assuming that it IS spam, of course.
But capability of software doesn't stop there. As mentioned in above quote, it also scans message BODY, which contains your ad, and adds your URL and email address to list of recipients of complaint. The ever-diligent big-spam-hunter also makes sure that one or more spam-reporting "authorities" is copied on complaint.
WeStopSpam.net*, diligent, professional organization that it is, immediately and automatically forwards complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org and your webhost, an equally diligent, professional organization shuts your site down for three days for spamming.
You, of course, learn about all of this AFTER event.
Think it can't happen to you? Think again. It happened to me. This week. Except I wasn't a paying advertiser in offending ezine. The publisher of ezine reprinted one of my articles. The article contained my resource box. The resource box contained my website URL. SpamKiller added my URL to list of recipients of email complaining of "spam", copied WeStopSpam.net and WeStopSpam.net forwarded email to email@example.com with result that my webhost, DumbHost*, shut down my site for what was to be three days.
The actual downtime was two hours. By that time I had threatened to sue and they finally got around to actually READING offending email and realizing that I, in fact, was just an innocent bystander.
There is so much that is wrong in this whole scenario that it's hard to know where to begin.
THE PERSON WHO GENERATED THE COMPLAINT
Let's start with individual who generated complaint in first place. This is person using SpamKiller software. His email to me (which was auto-generated by SpamKiller) contained following subject line:
"UCE Complaint (So-and-So Newsletter*)"
The body started out:
"I have received attached unsolicited e-mail from someone at your domain. [He had not.]
"I do not wish to receive such messages in future, so please take appropriate measures to ensure that this unsolicited e-mail is not repeated.
"--- This message was intercepted by SpamKiller (www.spamkiller.com) ---"
The full text of intercepted message followed.
The header of offending email clearly showed that sender of email was someone from so-and-so.com*. Unfortunately, newsletter concerned contained virtually nothing but my article interrupted by what I assume were paid ads.
I'm sure that paid advertisers in this particular ezine also received a complaint and that WeStopSpam.net received a copy and automatically forwarded it to advertiser's ISP and/or webhost who may or may not have shut them down, at least temporarily. (Hopefully not all webhosts are of calibre of DumbHost when it comes to this sort of thing.)
So, this individual, in his zealousness to rid Internet of spam, blithely dragged names and reputations of at least half a dozen perfectly innocent bystanders through mud.