What does "Delivery Status Notification (Failure)" mean?

If you receive the following return message when sending an e-mail:

-----Original Message----- From: postmaster@mail.hotmail.com [mailto:postmaster@mail.hotmail.com] Sent: Saturday, May 07, 2011 4:18 PM To: xyz11@my.fsu.edu Subject: Delivery Status Notification (Failure) This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification. Unable to deliver message to the following recipients, because the message was forwarded more than the maximum allowed times. This could indicate a mail loop.


It is likely caused by a mail forwarding loop or forwarding through to many accounts.

Mail forwarding loops: A mail forwarding loop can occur when you set up mail forwarding on two accounts so that the first account forwards all its mail to the second, and the second account forwards mail back to the first. If your mail delivery system had no limit on hops, your message could be bounced back and forth between these two accounts indefinitely. An example would be: forwarding your myFSU address to a Gmail account while also forwarding that same Gmail account to your myFSU address.

When a message you sent returns to you with the "too many hops" error message, it can mean either the recipient has set up a mail forwarding loop or the message was being forwarded through too many servers/email accounts. This can happen if you are sending or receiving email via a listserv at one account and forwarding that same account to another account. Some email providers only allow a message to travel through a certain number of servers/accounts before it considers it junk/spam and stops it.

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