by Mike Masnick

Delving Into The Land Of Spam Removals

from the it-might-actually-work...-sometimes dept

Brian McWilliams is spending an awful lot of time with spammers these days. I'm halfway through reading his well-written book Spam Kings, and now he's written up a piece for Salon about his efforts to find out a bit more concerning how Rolex spammers handle removal requests. He signed himself up as an affiliate spammer for a Rolex spamming operation, and monitored the list of "remove me" email addresses -- which they actually kept. He had tested it out by putting another address of his on the list, and was surprised to find it made the list -- and that he eventually did stop receiving Rolex spam on that email. He was also surprised to find out that many people you would think would know better had taken the time to click the "remove me" link for Rolex spams. He spoke to a few, many of whom said they knew it wasn't recommended, and could make things worse -- but that doing nothing wasn't helping at all either. He concludes that it's still not a good idea to click on the "remove me" link, but that it appears some spammers actually do care enough to pay attention. It's just that you don't know which ones they are, and which ones will turn around and sell your email address as a "live person" to plenty of other spammers.

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