Direct Marketing Association Deletes Spam Definition, Convenes Spam Summit

from the priorities,-priorities dept

It seems that one of the key arguing points everyone wants to focus on when discussing spam solutions is just how to define spam. The problem, really, is that users know how to define spam: email they don’t want. The problem is that marketers, ISPs, and other vested interests realize that they still want to be able to send an occasional email that users don’t want. Thus, they try to define spam in different ways. However, now that the Direct Marketing Association (hardly a disinterested party) is putting out a “best practices” document on email marketing, one of the authors of the document is complaining that they deleted his definition of spam. The DMA was complaining that the definition didn’t include the word “fraudulent”, suggesting that only fraud emails can be considered spam. The original author says that the DMA also watered down other language in the best practices document, including changing “must dos” into “should dos”. Meanwhile, this very same Direct Marketing Association, who wants to define spam in such vague terms is also putting together yet another spam summit. In the past six months or so, we’ve had so many such spam summits, with absolutely nothing coming out of them. Everyone gets together, argues about the definition of spam, talks about why spam is a problem, suggests some solutions and immediately points out why all those solutions are bad. Then, everyone agrees that this is a topic that needs more thought, and heads off to “think about the problem” until the next spam summit where the cycle repeats.

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Comments on “Direct Marketing Association Deletes Spam Definition, Convenes Spam Summit”

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Fred Tiller says:

Spam Definition

Define Spam: Email from a sender that does not want to be identified. If we could find a way to only receive email from a valid sender, then our mailboxes would be clean. That way if a receiver asks a sender to remove the receiver from their mail list and the sender does not comply, then enforcement can step up to the plate.

Ed says:

Re: Spam Definition

The answer.
Require all ISPs to give all clients two sending options and 2 receiving options.
SEND1 = Sent emails go to every operating email address entered or on the list.
SEND2 = Sent emails go ONLY to every operating email address that does not have the RECEIVE2 option activated.
RECEIVE1 = Verifies acceptance of all emails sent to this address.
RECEIVE2 = Sender accepts automatic fraud conviction at the pleasure of the receiver if the email was sent through SEND1.
Details for making this practical, such as “only on the third offense to any particular receiver” or “except on specific overriding agreements made between an individual sender and an individual receiver” could be worked out.

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