Difference between blacklistuser and blacklistemail

Hi all

(Edit: I have moved this message into the Support category as it’s primarily a request for help, and once I have clarification it would be useful to update the manual page with additional information.)

I’m trying to create some rules for the advanced bounce processing but am a bit confused about some of the possible actions. The actions blacklistuser and blacklistemail both sound very similar but I don’t know the difference between the two. I can’t seem to find any explanation about the differences between them in the documentation either.

Is “blacklistemail” used to blacklist a particular email address, even though they may not be a subscriber on the system? e.g. if a campaign is forwarded using the FORWARDURL link to a particular email address, it’s possible to blacklist that email address, even though that email address was never used by a subscriber on the system.

If that’s the case, would “blacklistuser” simply be used to blacklist an existing subscriber, but if the email doesn’t exist yet as a subscriber (in the case that an email has been forwarded) then it won’t do anything?

Many thanks for any clarification anyone can give.


I know that User is the old word for subscriber, it still exists in a few places.

Hi Anna, thanks for your reply.

I guessed that user and subscriber were synonymous. However, the confusion I have is the difference between email and subscriber in the context of blacklisting one or the other.

Hopefully someone else will know…

I think @danwaterloo has bought this up on the bug tracker. @danwaterloo is this issue you were referring to?

Yes, this is the issue. It’s not clear what the difference is, it appears that it is not documented (anywhere convenient), and perhaps we remove the ‘old one’. I put a note on Mantis about this the other day.

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I looked on Mantis but didn’t see anything about it. I’m probably just not searching for the right terms. What is the bug ID?

Regarding the original question, do you know if my assumption was correct, that “blacklistemail” will mean that a particular email address will be blacklisted, even if they are not yet a subscriber on the system? I’m assuming that this could be useful if you want to ensure that a person will never receive an email from the system, even if they (or someone pretending to be them) subsequently tried to sign up as a subscriber.

Many thanks.

here’s the mantis item…


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I’m interested in this as well. I’ve had emails that our blacklisted, but continue to receive emails. I’ve switched to blacklist user instead of email, and unconfirmed them at the same time. Hoping that does the trick. I can’t find anywhere in the newsletter processing logic where it checks the blacklist.

Based on my experience, the ‘blacklist email’ puts the email address into the blacklist database table, but does not touch the user in the ‘phplist_user_user’ table. If you lookup the user in the web interface, they are still in there, but not blacklisted. (And since they are in the blacklisted table, they will not receive any more emails).

If you blacklist the user, then the user_user record gets ‘blacklisted’, so this might be the better way to do it.