Freecycling

Fighting for freerecyling

Is spam ever acceptable?

Spam is a very emotive word. It is all about sending inappropriate email to lots of people who did not ask for it. Actual definitions vary extremely widely. I think in trying to understand what has happened an analysis of what spam is might help some people decide for themselves.

Certainly this email seems to have been sent to a group of people who did not ask for it. But then we all receive lots of emails that I did not ask for. Also spam is associated with the word inappropriate. Well, in this case that is tenuous since, according to my research the email was targeted at group owners and moderators and was considered by the perpetrators to be very relevant.

Spam is also often associated with selling things like viagra, well in this instance the only thing being offered was information at no cost.

Spam is also associated with harvesting emails from membership lists. Well there have been insinuations about ErsatzFriend and other TFN accounts being used for the very similar purposes by inviting members from one group to join another. I am sure readers would appreciate it if someone on behalf of TFN would speak to this and deny that any such thing has ever happened.

There is one more possibly justification that I can think of. And that is the key matter of free speech. If an organisation suppresses the ability for members to discuss important issues in appropriate places then perhaps it is not surprising when methods that might be called spam are used to explain what is going on.

Obviously the only method of contact on an email based system is the email addresses of its people, and if it is acceptable for TFN to use membership lists in certain circumstances then I guess the precedent is set. But rather accepting my opinions or those of others I would ask readers to vote for themselves. Poll: Was the email sent promoting reusit spam?. If you have already voted and wish to check the results then View Results.

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July 24, 2007 - Posted by | ersatzfriend, freecycle

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