Anti-Spammers Need To Develop Better Manners
Last week, I sent out my e-zine and received a copy back. It was forwarded to me by one of my subscribers. Due to the fact that most periodicals and websites frown against vulgarity, obscenity, and profanity, I will not provide the precise text of the subject line. However, rest confident that Miss Manners would not approve.

People’s irritation is understandable when they are flooded with unsolicited commercial e-mail. I myself receive more than my fair share.

Even though my Internet Service Provider (ISP) has enabled a spam filter and I have configured my email program’s filters, I continue to receive spam.

However, the circumstance with my subscription is unique. He chose to subscribe and verified his decision. I utilize a third-party provider to manage my email lists in part to avoid fake spam accusations.

There are several options available. Perhaps my lovely subscriber forgot he signed up and honestly assumed he was receiving spam.

Another explanation is that he was not interested in the material. When someone gives you something you do not want, the proper response is “No, thank you” and not “Expletive removed.”

If your host offers you dessert after dinner and you decline, simply say “No, thank you.” If you take one slice of pie and are subsequently given a second, you may accept or refuse.

My subscriber might have easily opted out. Instead, he responded negatively (either because he feels I am sending him spam or because he dislikes the newsletter).

When he subscribed, he said “yes”; he may always say “no” by unsubscribing. Once more, “No, thank you” rather than “Expletive deleted”

Associated with this impoliteness is the ignorance exhibited by certain America Online, Inc. (AOL) subscribers. By ignorance, I mean that people may not even be aware that they are committing a crime when they report unwanted email as spam.

AOL makes it extremely simple for users to report spam. I’d argue they make things too simple.

Simply click the “Report Spam” button. Unfortunately, there is no text near this option that reads “If you are already subscribed, simply unsubscribe.” No, just “Report Spam”

They do so. Instead of unsubscribing, some AOL users will report your e-newsletter as spam. They choose to opt in and subscribe. By email, they verified their membership. The subscriber’s name, e-mail address, IP address, and the time and date of their subscription are all stored. However, they report you as a spammer.

This is beyond impolite, since it might harm the reputation and livelihood of the individual being reported.

I wish it were uncommon to get profanity or threats via email. Unfortunately, this is not my first time.

Among the numerous notifications I receive, some indicate that the e-mail I attempted to send (from an odd or illogical name at my domain) was undeliverable or blocked and is being returned to me. Obviously, I never sent the email to begin with.

I occasionally receive impolite (often threatening) e-mails from individuals who believe I sent them one of these counterfeit messages. This is the equivalent of cursing and threatening a person whose dog you feel defecated on your yard. The only issue is that he does not own a dog.

Again, I empathize with folks who find spam annoying. I hope people would aim their anger onto the spammers rather than at me. In fact, Miss Manners would have reminded us all that disrespectful behavior is never acceptable.

Write A Comment