A friend of mine has been cyber-stalked for 4 years now by an ex-boyfriend. He recently worked out her new job email address (via LinkedIn) and started sending her emails. She told me that the emails he has constantly sent her have a similar wording and subject matter. This made me wonder if there was a way to block emails with certain word patterns or phrases for all her email accounts (Gmail, work email, etc.).

  • 4
    Have you considered a more direct, legal action?
    – user10211
    Mar 5, 2013 at 14:12
  • Legal action?google hm what you gonna hit them with
    – Saladin
    Mar 5, 2013 at 15:24
  • 1
    @TerryChia She has done as much as is legally possible - notifying authorities, etc. but there is only so much you can do. Also, blocking emails is legal.
    – camden_kid
    Mar 5, 2013 at 15:29
  • @camden_kid I was trying to emphasis legal as in - use the power of the law. Not implying blocking email is illegal. Sorry if you misunderstood. :)
    – user10211
    Mar 5, 2013 at 15:37
  • @Terry Chia It's all good mate. She's done as much as the law allows from what she's told me. He's incredibly persistant at pursuing her.
    – camden_kid
    Mar 5, 2013 at 15:49

3 Answers 3


I don't KNOW this entire concept of targeted marketing which googles uses to brings context based ads on your gmail is worth blogging your mind. They say that they don't do anything with user-mail but they do have abundant filters which are going to pick on anything which matches their dictionary.

I think google does provide you the ability to define just the filter. Here


  • Thanks, I'll pass this on to her. Is the 'From' field mandatory? If so, then it won't work as he constantly changes the email from which he posts.
    – camden_kid
    Mar 5, 2013 at 15:30
  • I haven't tested that part. Could be a wild character.
    – Saladin
    Mar 5, 2013 at 15:36
  • It's not mandatory :)
    – Fluffy
    Mar 3, 2016 at 12:39
  • I was going to suggest this. It's a really good idea, and I use this to filter emails from undesirables. For example, stupid websites like TheLadders.com, and ACLJ, which continually spam me even after opting out, or which won't let me opt out. Mar 3, 2016 at 13:11

It would be easier to just block his email address. You can do that with Gmail and probably any other email service/application. To use word filtering you will most likely need a real email client like Mozilla Thunderbird.

I don't know the details and the people involved, but in general, tell your friend that the guy probably just needs closure, as in he has to be told in clear words that she is not interested in him in any way and that he is scaring her. Also say that if he doesn't stop this, she will go to the police. This has to come from her. Don't let her go see him in person as that will just inflame his passion/obsession (same thing).

  • He creates new email accounts so blocking email addresses won't work. She and mutual friends have spoken to him many times but it doesn't have any effect. He is apparently not taking his medication for a psychological problem which is also a factor in this situation.
    – camden_kid
    Mar 5, 2013 at 10:37

Gmail can't block emails but provides an option to directly send the email to trash. The search criteria can be anything such as subject line, sender, a particular text etc. Just create a filter and when the criteria matches, the message will be send to the trash.

A step by step procedure is as follows:

  1. Click the down arrow in your search box at the top of the page. A window that allows you to specify your search criteria will appear.
  2. Enter your search criteria. If you want to check that your search worked correctly, click the search button. Clicking the down arrow again will bring the window back with the same search criteria you entered.
  3. Click Create filter with this search at the bottom of the search window. Choose the action you'd like for these messages by checking the appropriate box. (In this case choose "Delete it.")
  4. Click Create Filter.

As far as corporate environment is concerned, firewall can easily block any email based upon a wide range of criterias such as sender, message text, subject line, etc.

  • Can the firewall block patterns in the message text or subject line? For example, block a message text that contains 5 key words anywhere in the text?
    – camden_kid
    Mar 5, 2013 at 10:42

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