Is It Spam If You Asked For It, But No Longer Want It?

from the questions-questions-questions dept

A new study from an email marketing firm is warning that ISPs are blocking a lot of "permission based" emails in their spam filters. The announcement is clearly implying that this is a bad thing and a problem that marketers and ISPs need to work on to solve (and, of course, this company wants to show off that they have some sort of solution). However, you have to wonder if this is really that big of a "problem." Most people don't define spam by the guidelines of things like CAN SPAM, but under FTC Commissioner Orson Swindle's spam definition as "anything I don't like." Under that definition, plenty of things that people at one time opted into they might now consider spam. Of course, that might not be true in all cases, and ISPs that are blocking without giving users a chance to review/whitelist what was blocked are an issue, but if people aren't missing these emails... is it really a problem?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Greg Andrew, Mar 26th, 2005 @ 8:10am

    No Subject Given

    You don't always know you want an e-mail until you get it so, yes, I'd say it is a problem. If someone sends me an e-mail offering work (not, obviously, work at home to make millions), and I don't get it because the filters think it's spam, I won't be concerned I missed the e-mail, because I never knew about it in the first place.

    False negatives are a problem, and people should make sure they don't contribute to it. No matter what type of e-mail it is, if you agreed to receive it you should not label it spam. You may not want to get it any more, but others might.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    David Cotovsky, Mar 27th, 2005 @ 8:06am

    Is It Spam If You Asked For It, But No Longer Want

    Nobody ever died or suffered any ill effects from missing spam in their inboxes. But millions have suffered extreme anger and frustration STOPPING the intrusions of marketers invading their computers. If someone theoretically desired (a fairy tale) internet marketer's spam, and wanted to reduce their email to the Home Shopping Network of the internet, then there is no impediment to getting all the spam you can handle. But the truth is, people go to the internet because it can be made free of unwanted sales pitches with the appropriate programs to filter it. The only people concerned with the safe delivery of spam are the spammers.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    DV Henkel-Wallace, Mar 28th, 2005 @ 9:27am

    grey area

    I tend to agree that if you asked for it it's unreasonable to consider it "Spam." However:
    • Sometimes the sender has made you somehow unwittingly "agree"
    • Sometimes I have signed up for something and then been unable to un-sign-up
    I don't know of better solutions to this than to filter that crap out at my end, which wastes their and my bandwidth and cycles.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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