Anti-Spam Program Adds Spamlets

from the oops dept

A few months back I had installed a new anti-virus program to help keep my machine clean. I noticed later that day, suddenly, that every email I received or sent out had an appended “this email confirmed virus free by…” within the text of the message. That seemed a little on the obnoxious side, and I went through the anti-virus checker options until I figured out how to turn it off. Now some people are discovering the same thing in an anti-spam program, which they think is particularly ironic. The little signature ads, which are common in free webmail products, are sort of like mini-spams, or “spamlets”. So, folks who are buying an anti-spam products are especially upset to find out no spam means they’re using spamlets instead. The company says that this is only the beta version of their product, and it is possible to turn off the spamlet feature. They also say they think it’s a completely legitimate viral marketing strategy, which isn’t surprising because they’re funded by Tim Draper who came up with the original viral marketing spamlet idea for Hotmail. Still, it probably should have occurred to them that the anti-spam crowd is particularly averse to sneaky advertising.

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