Have You Been Spammed?

By John "Birdman" Bryant


Some Important Points About Spam

So you think that what you have received is spam? Well, guess what? You're WRONG! And the reason is simple: SPAM IS NOT CLEARLY DEFINED. Here's an explanation:

** Spam used to be defined as 'unsolicited commercial email'. And while many agree that this is an INSTANCE of spam, it does not include everything that is labeled 'spam'. But 'commercial email' is itself undefined: An email which is completely devoted to promoting a product is clearly commercial, but what about an email that merely mentions a product? Or one that promotes a product in order to promote a cause? Or one that promotes a product that is not sold by the mailer?

** Spam is sometimes defined as 'unsolicited mass mail'. But 'mass mail' is itself undefined. How many letters do you have to send to in order for your mailing to qualify as 'mass mail'? 2? 10? 100? 1000? What if the letters are sent in small batches rather than en masse?

** Spam is sometimes defined as 'any unsolicited email'. But if this definition were used, the first letter written by one friend to another would be considered spam.

** Spam is said to be 'bad' or 'unwanted'. But lots of mail falls under these categories, including insults, viruses, and denial-of-service messages -- none of which are called spam.

If, therefore, you are upset because you think you have been 'spammed', here are some important points for you to understand:

(1) We don't send spam because spam is undefined.

(2) WE DON'T WANT TO MAIL TO THOSE WHO DON'T WANT TO RECEIVE OUR MESSAGE -- our point is to find friends rather than make enemies.

(3) We are happy to take you off our mailing list if you will simply request it, tho it is probably pointless, as we are unlikely to mail you again.

(4) If you insist on sending us a nasty letter, be prepared to receive one in return. Very few people write us more than one.


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