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Collateral damage may be in poor taste but I believe Liane is correct in result.
Due to the extent of abuse by spammers, well meaning marketers will probably be driven out of business unless something is done to restore the confidence of the general receiving public. The spam has got to go.
to charge a fee for sending of spam would make spam a legitimate and legal means of marketing and would cause many more problems than it would solve. the current law changes in europe and elsewhere are a step in the right direction - make spam illegal.
Note: Due to the unmanageably large number of unsolicited e-mail messages we have received in recent weeks, we have cancelled our e-mail account. To contact us, please use the above address or phone number.
I wouldn't be surprised if we see more of this type of response in the future. Who needs the grief? If you want us call or write us.
I have spent a great deal of time pondering the spam issue and have asked myself, "to what extent am I prepared to go in order to assist in eradicating spam e:mail from the web?"
I am only one person, but I do what I can whenever I can to assist in stopping this plague on the www. Its a daunting task and I am not a self appointed "spam cop" or "vigalante". I am a business owner who happens to depend upon my web site referrals for a living ... as do several hundreds of thousands of others.
If spam is allowed to continue to grom exponentially, internet sales will become the "wwj" (world wide joke) ... catering to porn and mass mailings. Quality, informative sites will be aboandoned and the most useful technological resource of our time will die an excruciatingly, ugly death.
This cannot be allowed to take place. Like it or not, the DMOZ weilds a tremendous power. I will do my part to see that the e:mail is stopped as soon as humanly possible. I hope others will take the same stance.
The concept of ridding spam from the internet is probably one of the most important issues we are faced with today ... and it has been ignored or put on the back burner for much too long.
Spam e:mail is a critical issue. Pick a side and fight (hard) for what you belive is important. Put some thought into it ... and not just from your point of view! Take other positions into account as well. Then take a stand and write your congress person, state and/or provincial authorities and anyone else you feel you may be able to influence the powers that be.
Unless we as a community do something soon ... nobody without an incredibly accurate crystal ball will be able to project a darned thing in regards to internet sales in the short or long term. The whole www could implode due to a complete lack of consumer confidewnce ... or it might grow. Who the hell knows?
My point is that I believe in the "strength in numbers" theory. We should reach a majority consensus within the WebmasterWorld community and try our damndest to find those in authority who will listen to our pleas and make them law.
Something ... anything has to be done ... and very, very soon!
1. Habitual spammers should be legally prosecuted and heavily penalized. However, it simply doesn't make economic sense to investigate and prosecute a person with relatively few complaints. Plus, those complaints may fall under the margin of error if they sent out many legitimate emails.
2. Somebody with a relatively small amount of complaints on their server/network vs. the emails they send out should not be harassed, stalked, mass-signed up or prosecuted by either the law or vigilantes.
3. Companies promoting blacklists which incorrectly identify somebody as a "spammer" when they are not should be prosecuted for conspiracy to restrict trade and defamation. Habitual offenders should be shut down.
4. I guess I've had a good filtering system for several years so it's hard for me to understand why people are resorting to web extremism, blacklists and collateral damage.
Liane, I think you could figure out a better way to filter. At the individual level it's very easy to filter 99.9% of the spam out there using normal filters.
From a webmaster job standpoint, I don't know what your setup is but it shouldn't be that big of a problem. Do you use forms so people can contact you through a script instead of a public email? Do you use obvious account names like webmaster@ or sales@ (all those should not be used as they are easy to guess for spammers). Do you use a special email for only verified clients? etc.
>>1. Habitual spammers should be legally prosecuted and
All spammers should be legally prosecuted and heavily penalised. Setting limits by which some spam is ok and other spam isn't will give the green light to millions of responsible site owners. result = more spam.
the vast majority of spam comes from small-time spammers not from companies sending millions of emails every day. a few thousand companies each sending a few thousand emails per day is just as damaging as one company sending a few million emails per day. in fact, it is probably more harmful when thousands of small companies send the spam as we need to set up more filters, need to block more IPs, need to take more action etc than for just one company.
>>2. Somebody with a relatively small amount of complaints
>>on their server/network vs. the emails they send out
>>should not be harassed, stalked, mass-signed up or
>>prosecuted by either the law or vigilantes.
A relatively small amounty of complaints vs. the number of emails sent does not make it "OK" to send spam. spammers should have their computing equipment confiscated and should be banned from owning computers. spammers should be forced to compensate the unwilling recipients of their spam.
as it is impractical to distribute small amounts of cash to large numbers of people, governments should set up schemes whereby groups of spammers have to work (unpaid) for the victims of spam in some way - maybe "community service" like cleaning graffiti or sorting large piles of household refuse as part of a large scale recycling scheme.
>>3. Companies promoting blacklists which incorrectly
>>identify somebody as a "spammer" when they are not should
>>be prosecuted for conspiracy to restrict trade and
>>defamation. Habitual offenders should be shut down.
most blacklist providers do a pretty good job of blacklisting spammers and save the majority of the world's population from receiving a massive amount of spam. most blacklist providers use a lot of evidence to determine whether someone is a spammer or not and to determine whether they should be added to a blacklist (sometimes automated with very strict rules) or whether they should be removed from one (reformed spammer, web host that no longer allows spamming, accidental addition to blacklists etc).
The overwhelming majority of sites / IP addresses added to blacklists are on the blacklists because they are spammers or they support spammers.
>>4. I guess I've had a good filtering system for several
>>years so it's hard for me to understand why people are
>>resorting to web extremism, blacklists and collateral
lucky you. the vast majority of the world's population have no idea how to set up junk mail filters in Outlook or other email clients, nor of the many other ways to filter spam. <snip>
[edited by: Macguru at 4:30 pm (utc) on Dec. 5, 2002]
[edit reason] Please re-read terms of service, thanks. [/edit]
liane, i think you need to join CAUCE. they've done a good job in the fight against spam and they're still fighting. laws are already being passed to control or prohibit spam.
Telephone sales is the most annoying of the lot cause I have to wait before I get chance to tell them where to go.
Postal Spam is also annoying because the post has to be sorted and binned, equally as annoying.
I agree with estjohn and have had reasonably good filters at local machine level for sometime now. Email Spam is actually less of a problem to me than telesales.
European law has strict controls on unsolicited email but very little control on unsolicted telephone calls.
If spam is allowed to continue to grom exponentially
It is the "exponential" that worries me - SPAM can't grow exponentially if the spam police eventually shut down e-mail altogether!
We need to find a balance ladies and gentlemen, I too receive the "Important message from the King of blah blah" - every day - but my click of the delete button doesn't cost that much in time and energy!
[edited by: lawman at 11:08 pm (utc) on Dec. 7, 2002]
[edit reason] TOS 4 [/edit]