Good Spam or Bad Spam - What's the Difference?Written by Sara Hardy
"Are you good spam or bad spam?" This is question I find echoing in my head sometimes when I am going through my email, as if it is part of some electronic Wizard of Oz. Have you ever given any thought to fact that there really is a difference in spam? Not that I am defending anyone, but let me make my point and then you can decide for yourself.
Spam is such a hot issue and no one knows "right" view of spam that fits everyone. You either: - will take all measures to prevent people from sending it to you - don't mind it at all and happily delete, delete, delete every day - OR hate it sometimes and ignore it other times.
I think I fall in last category, which is what started me thinking about good and bad spam. My point of view has now developed into this:
BAD Spam- -It is bad spam when you reply to it to be removed and it is returned to you because address is made up. -It is bad spam when removal link does not open a real url. -It is bad spam when you paste message source into Spam Cop and info you get back before clicking "Send spam report" shows tons of dead ends and made up domains, etc.
This means that this "Cowardly Lion" harvested your address, and went to great lengths to cover their tracks in order not to get caught sending spam.
GOOD Spam- -It is good spam when there is an actual person on other end, apologizing for inconveniencing you.
What made it good spam? Because here is spam that you most likely will not get again, because it is more legit then bad spam. These people are not out to break any rules, upset anyone, or ruin your day. 9 times out of 10 they really don't know any better and will learn, very quickly I might add.
Also, keep in mind that Scarecrow in us does not ALWAYS remember every email we sign up for. It is possible to have signed up for something and a week later be flipping out because you are getting email from some unknown. If we only had a brain sometimes (Speaking for myself, of course).
Not GuiltyWritten by Bob Osgoodby
We receive such a tremendous amount of unsolicited commercial email (spam) in our In-Box every day, we can certainly understand why some people become "Anti-Spam" crusaders. Since majority is sent with phony return addresses, it is virtually impossible to track them down. While there are ways to find out where it originated, it is usually an exercise in futility, as most come from professional spam houses who own their own servers, and aren't about to shut themselves down.
Most people simply delete clutter, or create filters with their email package to automatically get rid of a lot of it. There are some however, whose primary mission in life is to get rid of all spam on Internet.
Frustrated by their inability to get rid of most of it, they might find a valid email address, and like a hawk seeking its prey, pounce upon offender. They relentlessly pursue their intended victim, and file a complaint with every email address provider they can identify.
Some fanatics seem to take great pleasure in getting someone's domain blocked, or being shutdown by their ISP or email provider. But wait - what if complaint is not valid. We all know how easy it is to forge someone's valid email address, and many spammers do just this. If a complaint is filed against that stolen address, true owner is being unjustly accused. At very least they will have to defend themselves, and worse case they are shut down. This is wrong.
Others obtain software that parses their email, and automatically sends a complaint to every provider found. Now, having a spastic moment, they might do this with a newsletter they subscribe to, and asked to receive. That means that provider of every email address found in newsletter will receive a complaint. This includes authors of articles in newsletter, all advertisers who list an email address, as well as publisher. This action will cause people who are not guilty of spamming significant problems. This is unconscionable.
The typical scenario is that someone subscribes to a newsletter with a free email address, and forwards their email to their permanent email address. They receive publication, decide they don't want it, and try to be removed from distribution list. They are told that they are not subscribed under that address, which is true. Forgetting about fact that it is actually being sent to their free account and being forwarded, their level of frustration increases with every copy received, and they fire off their complaints.
People who make unfounded complaints, like terrorists, are guilty of a crime. No, they don't kill anyone, but they could put legitimate people, who are not spamming, out of business due to their complaints. They are, in point of fact, depriving someone of right to earn a living, and should be legally liable for any damage they cause.