Revisiting The Unsubscribe Link
from the they-still-don't-work dept
In just about every silly "profile of a spammer," you tend to hear them say two things: (1) they don't send out porn spam and (2) they really do remove those who unsubscribe from their spam. Of course, most people are unlikely to believe either of those claims (for good reason), but with the passage of CAN-SPAM (which requires a "working" opt-out link) the debate keeps returning to whether or not you actually should "opt-out" of spam - since it's well known that many spammers only use that information to confirm that you're a "live one," and make sure you get plenty more spam. Sooner or later, someone had to test it out, and now an anti-spam company is claiming that only 10 to 15% of opt-out spam links are invalid - which sounds impossibly low. Of course, they don't break out just how much additional spam you will get for the few untrustworthy opt-out links. In fact, it's unclear how they really know if the opt-out works. You may not get spam from the identical spammer, but they could just as easily resell your live info to other spammers, and you have no way of knowing it was because you "opted-out." Or, more likely, they'll just start spamming you from one of the hundred other identities they have, so they can claim that the you're no longer receiving spam from that one entity, but you never opted out of the other 99.