January 6, 2004

PoliSpam

If you think you’re getting a lot of spam now, just wait until the political season gets into full swing. The same politicians that actually thought the flawed CAN-SPAM Act was a good idea are now gearing up to flood your inboxes with all manner of junk. So says Mark Gibbs in his Backspin column:

A New York Times story claims that “at least 40 House members have bought or agreed to buy e-mail address lists from at least four vendors.” Are House members worried about potentially adverse response to spam from their constituents? The New York Times notes that Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) is a list purchaser and quotes him saying that: “Our experience has been that we get hundreds and hundreds of people who opt in for every person who opts out … E-mail has been a great communications device.” Sherman, by August you and your buddies will have helped to change that to “E-mail was a great communications device.”

This seems like the exact mindset that created CAN-SPAM. Sending as many e-mails to as many people as you want is perfectly okay and legal. And there may be one or two whackjobs out there who, for unfathomable reasons, don’t want to hear from you ever again, but it’ll be fine as long as you respond to one of their first ten unsubscribe requests. After all, you know your message is more important than all the others. And so will everyone else, once they read it.

I think this year I’m making a policy of not voting for anyone who sends me an unsolicited e-mail. Luckily, here in Nevada, it’s a stretch for a candidate to have a website, much less any kind of e-mail strategy.

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

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