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Good Spam or Bad Spam…What is the Difference?

  • Posted April 20, 2006
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  • in category Spam

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Are you Good Spam or Bad Spam? This is the question I find
echoing in my head sometimes when I am going through my email,
as if it is part of some electronic Wizard of Oz. Have you ever
given any thought to the fact that there really is a difference
in spam? Not that I am defending anyone, but let me make my
point and then you can decide for yourself.

Spam is such a hot issue and no one knows the “right” view of
spam that fits everyone. You either: – will take all measures to
prevent people from sending it to you – don’t mind it at all and
happily delete, delete, delete every day – OR hate it sometimes
and ignore it other times.

I think I fall in the last category, which is what started me
thinking about good and bad spam. My point of view has now
developed into this:

BAD Spam- It is bad spam when you reply to it to be removed and
it is returned to you because the address is made up. It is bad
spam when the removal link does not open a real url. It is bad
spam when you paste the message source into Spam Cop and the
info you get back before clicking the “Send spam report” shows
tons of dead ends and made up domains, etc.

This means that this “Cowardly Lion” harvested your address, and
went to great lengths to cover their tracks in order not to get
caught sending spam.

GOOD Spam- It is good spam when there is an actual person on the
other end, apologizing for inconveniencing you. What made it
good spam? Because here is spam that you most likely will not
get again, because it is more legit then the bad spam. These
people are not out to break any rules, upset anyone, or ruin
your day. 9 times out of 10 they really don’t know any better
and will learn, very quickly I might add.

Also, keep in mind that the Scarecrow in us does not ALWAYS
remember every email we sign up for. It is possible to have
signed up for something and a week later be flipping out because
you are getting email from some unknown. If we only had a brain
sometimes (Speaking for myself, of course).

It is also highly possible that someone is having fun
subscribing you to things. Never count that one out, it happens
all of the time.

GOOD vs BAD Personally, I would much rather get good spam. Bad
spam demonstrates that the sender KNOWS what is not acceptable
and went to all of this trouble and expense to hide behind this
long trail of fake addresses. That they took the time to do that
is malicious, in my way of thinking. Do they really think that
what they are trying to sell in this manner is actually worth
it? These are the people we should be upset with. These are the
people that we need to be telling, “I’ll get you my pretty, and
your little server too!”

So, whether you agree or disagree, just try to keep in mind that
1. The whole world is not out to get you. 2. Not every piece of
spam is sent with the same intent. And… 3. As the world around
us continues to change, we will be seeing more and more
companies resorting to sending their junk mail through email
rather then the post office. (I think this is becoming a more
desirable thing to us all, as it would be much safer.)

Now is the time to try to adjust our view and approach the issue
with a level head. If we don’t we will drive ourselves mad, and
for what purpose? The changes in our world cause the internet to
change. Soon you probably will find yourself saying, “I don’t
think we’re in Kansas anymore”.


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  • Posted On April 20, 2006
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