What Happens On The Internet… Stays On The Internet…

from the can't-erase-history dept

A few weeks ago, there was a buzz in some circles about Spam Arrest’s CEO trying to erase the past. Spam Arrest, you may recall, was supposedly an anti-spam whitelist company, who decided the best way to market their product was to spam anyone who ever emailed one of their customers — which, of course, doesn’t inspire confidence in the company’s ability to understand why spam is bad. This all happened about two years ago, and most people admit the company has been a much better corporate citizen since then, though, some people clearly don’t trust the company’s CEO. That same CEO, Brian Cartmell, decided recently that enough was enough, and he wanted to erase the past online. He emailed a number of sites that had written about the story in the past (and were highly ranked in Google) to ask them to take down the info. Brian McWilliams, at the Spam Kings blog, believes that part of Cartmell’s strategy is just to generate a new discussion about the company, to push the stories of its spamming past down the Google rankings. Of course, it seems like he’s now experiencing a variation on the Streisand Effect, where trying to suppress any particular information online only makes it much more visible. In fact, this story that was just being passed around on mailing lists and a few blogs has now been picked up by the Associated Press, who will spread it widely. What’s still an issue, though, is whether or not this will reinforce the idea that Spam Arrest did something sneaky, or if it serves as a publicity campaign for them saying “we’re not so sneaky any more…”

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