Google Voice catches spam before it hits the phone

Company adds a spam filtering feature that will not allow spam calls to get through to the user's mobile phone.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger

Google Voice users who have been marking calls as spam now have something to show for their troubles.

"Thanks to the help of the thousands of Google Voice users who mark calls as spam everyday--and our own spam identification tools--it is now possible to automatically redirect calls, texts, and voicemails from any of the numbers in our database directly into your spam folder," the search company said on its Google Voice blog yesterday.

Spam filtering has long been a desire of Google Voice users. Previously, when telemarketers would call a Google Voice user, they could still block the number, but it didn't help any other user who might have been receiving calls from the same number, essentially making the feature a half-solution. With Google's new feature, the calls shouldn't get through to any user who is employing the filtering option.

As e-mail users know, spam filters can sometimes be wrong. To address that, Google said that people can check their Voice spam folders to see if numbers were incorrectly classified. If so, they can be unblocked by clicking the app's "Not Spam" button.

Google Voice's new spam-filtering feature is available now. People need to turn it on in the Calls tab by checking the box next to "Global Spam filtering."

Further reading: Why my friends hate Google Voice