SMS Spam Saves Lives?

from the yeah,-but-for-how-long? dept

Over in India, a man who needed blood donations convinced mobile carrier Airtel to blast a random set of their subscribers with SMS messages pleading for donations. The system worked, and the guy got the blood he needed. Of course, this raises a large number of issues about “spam”. The carrier in question doesn’t seem to think it’s that big of a deal – insisting they’re only sending these sorts of messages out to small groups of people, and they’re only using causes that really are humanitarian in nature. So, is it still spam if done by a carrier (or ISP?) and only for “good reasons” that they’ve verified? I would think that it clearly is still spam (unless the people have opted-in to receive such messages), and that the success-rate of such messages will decline over time, as they lose their novelty.

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Comments on “SMS Spam Saves Lives?”

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Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:


To whom it may concern,

This is NOT SPAM!

I am dying of a rare disease, so rare that even if I told you the name you wouldn’t recognize it, not even if you were the doctor who had originally discovered it – it’s that rare.

Anyway, my doctor has told me that if I can raise $1,000,000,000,000 there is an experimental surgery that might reverse my condition and allow me to once again lead a semi-normal life.

In order to earn this money, I’m taking this opportunity to let you know about the following products that I think you might be interested in.

* Cheap Generic Viagra!
* Penis Enlargement – adds 2 – 3″, guaranteed!
* Human Growth Hormones – guaranteed to cure make you lose weight, reverse aging, bring the dead back to life and cure any known medical condition (except for really, really, really rare diseases)
* Hot young school girls who want to have sex with you!

Please, please, please help me out and click one of the above links. I don’t think I can convince my ISP to let me send another message like this without coughing up a lung…

thecaptain says:


Dear GOD NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Oh Oliver…oh…man! Why give these scumbags IDEAS? I’ve just now (after 3 years of most of my elder generation getting online) managed to educate them fully on the danger of spam…(Beyond not BUYING anything, had to teach them not to view HTML mail either, things like that)…now you’ve hit on the one thing they’ll fall for…

Hell, most of ’em still forward the “Little Amy (or whatever) is missing…forward this email to all your friends” stuff….

*shudder* you’ve just created a monster…

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