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Google brings spam filtering to Google Voice

Most people hate dealing with telemarketers, especialy when they always seem to know when is the right (or wrong) time to bug people with a phone call and desperetely attempt to sell some sort of product or service which nobody wants to buy. And while it is still not possible for most users to rid themselves from telemarketers who make calls via a land or cell phone line, Google is attempting to help users achieve that goal online by introducing a spam filter for its Google Voice service, which is reportedly capable of automatically redirecting such calls into a dedicated spam folder.  Way to go, Google.

Most people regard telemarketers as a bane of telecommunications, and for good reason. However, it does not help that most telemarkers are able to carry on with their jobs of harassing consumers over the phone due to their use of unlisted numbers, which makes it difficult for advanced caller ID systems to carry out any form of effective filtering to help users avoid such phone calls completely.

Fortunately, it seems that Google is, in its typical "do not be evil" fashion, actively taking steps to ensure that telemarketers are not about to exploit the capabilities of Internet-based telephony. And it is going about it by implementing what is best described as a spam filter for Google Voice, a feature which the company claims is designed to automatically filter unwanted phone calls directly into a dedicated spam folder, much like how its spam filter for Gmail currently works.

According to a blog post by Google's software engineering intern Alexander Rybak, the search giant is able to implement such a feature simply because it has amassed a huge database of "spammy numbers" which was brought about by the contributions made by "thousands of Google Voice users who mark calls as spam everyday",  as well as information that is own spam identification tools were able to pick up.  And it is this massive database of blacklisted numbers that allows Google to further enhance the user experience on Google Voice by automatically directing calls made from its database of blacklisted numbers to the spam folder where they belong, all without the need for any interaction on the user's part.

This feature can be enabled by navigating to the Calls tab of Google Voice settings and checking the box next to Global SPAM filtering, as shown below:

Last but definitely not least, Rybak is claiming that the spam filter will only get better in time, as more contributions made by users in the form of identifying additional blacklisted numbers and correcting mislabeled spam numbers will allow Google to further refine the filter to ensure that users do not have to worry about having to deal with unwanted calls on Google Voice.

Source: Google Voice blog

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