Stop violating RFC2822 address specifications

Many web sites that collect email addresses are unnecessarily restrictive regarding what characters are allowed in email addresses. The specification is RFC2822 section 3.4.1, and the “local part” allows:

  • non-whitespace controls
  • the rest of the US-ASCII characters not including [“, “]”, or “\”

In particular, “+” is a valid local-part of an email address, and is very commonly used by people to hand out distinguished addresses for purposes of tracking, sorting, and refiling.

Today’s violator is EarthLink SpamBlock, a challenge-response email spam blocker, which does not allow me to register a plus-containing address as an originator of mail.


  1. LB says:

    And then there is the IT Solutions Journal, which does not know how to encode ‘+’ in URLs it generates, nor can its unsubscribe page correctly parse ‘+’ in email addresses when you post them.

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