Skip to content

Spam: Why is it Wrong?

Reason #1

Q: Isn’t spam the same thing as junk mail? You could just delete it.

It is very tempting to think of spam and UCE as the same as junk snail mail, when really at BEST it is more like graffitti.

The reason you are only getting 4 or 5 a day is determined by the amount of posts you make to usenet, and the amount of TIME you have actually been on the net. It slowly increases with both. The reason you are not FLOODED is because of the efforts of many people that you read here, and the efforts of ethical ISP’s to stop this.

This places a tremendous burden on the whole net as Isps are clogged with this junk. IT IS A QUESTION of NOT letting the camel get the nose in the tent. And Orionca is also absolutely right about the signal to noise ratio.

Here is an ethical comparison for you: Advertising on shortwave and broadcasting on shortwave without a license is a NO NO and they WILL hunt you down if you do it. Why? Look what happened to CB radio. There are people who love this medium very much and are willing to expend whatever it takes to keep the noise down. The reason is, that we want to be able to use it to exchange information. We don’t want it to become the cyber equivalent of CB radio,which is now useless to everyone, and we REALLY do not want to censor it. (would you want to have to get a license to use the net?, maybe have to pass some college computer and math classes first, study some physics?) Therefore, the only option we HAVE is self policing.

We get mad, because we have to expend a lot of energy to make spamming MORE trouble than it’s worth… But the altenative is 1) a medium that is useless and over run with selfish con artists, or 2) a media heavilly regulated by the government.

Spam is unethical in the same way that any other pollution is. Whether its noise pollution, or graffitti. It is the stealing of resources from others and defacing them. It is abuse.

I have a good background in marketing and sales and this is as despicable as the worst con game out there. If you take the time to read the junk mail you get you will see that 99.9 % of it is nothing but con artist schemes. You don’t want to do this for the same reason that you would not want to advertise your business on a bathroom wall.

You are placing yourself in very questionable company!

The internet is a cooperative endeavor of all those who have invested their time and money to make it work. Those who’s only concern is to EXPLOIT it , to put a dollar in their pocket, are theives, and vandals. Good business supports neither. Unlike snail mail bulk mailers consume resources that are limited, that they do not commensurately pay for. They drag the net down and ultimately make it useless for even themselves. (very much like soiling your own nest).If you want to utilize the net, take time to become part of the community and then put up a web page that will draw people. First, offer a contribution of value. If you can’t do that yet, then you need to become more a part of the community and find your niche.

Putting your web page in your signature line and becomming a thoughtful REAL participant in this community will get you the kind of business you are looking for, IF it is something of value to other net users to begin with.

Joining the vandals MIGHT get you a few bucks, in the short run, MAYBE, and a lot of contempt. The reason for being a good guy is that in the long run, it works. Isn’t THAT what Christ taught? Marketing and sales pro’s know that in the long run, you must believe in your product AND your method.

Thanks for THINKING about it. I think you know in your heart that it is bad, and maybe now you have some reasons to back that up.

Thanks to Lea C for this great answer!

Reason #2

Question: I am an ethical person who sincerely wants to run my business in a Christian way, and right now I can’t see your point of view and would like understand it.

Answer: You need look no further than your Bible:

Exodus 20

15.Thou shalt not steal.

16.Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

17.Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Luke 6

31.And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

Luke 10

27.And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

The spewers of Unsolicited Bulk Email, yea, even unto those who would fain spread the Word of their Lord, ignore His Commandments, and do things hateful in His sight.

They steal others’ resources with no thought of recompense. They bear false witness; in their epistles as they do concerning their methods. They hold not to their promises to desist, but increase the flow, without let or surcease. The spewers show neither love nor consideration for their fellow beings, and care not that they merely annoy, offend, and harass.

On the other hand one can try to base a marketing strategy which depends on the potential clientele’s forbearance:-

Luke 6

27.But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

28.Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

29.And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.

30.Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

I think you will agree that such a marketing approach which, in the initial contact, first abuses people’s good nature is not destined for ultimate success. Leaving the technical considerations to one side, for the moment, people simply resent the intrusion which unsolicited bulk email represents. Most, if not all, net users from private accounts are only too well aware that net.access Costs Money, and that any download of information Costs Money.

A Website download — I pointed my browser to it; I want to see it. A file transfer via FTP, likewise. A Telnet, Talk, or Chat session, same thing. Email? Yes, I pay for it as well. I pay for the monster ZIP files and the pictures I get from my in-laws and, guess what? they do the same for the stuff we send. And when we decide that our phone bills are starting to look like the national debts, we’ll stop. _Our_ choice.

By its definition _Unsolicited_ Bulk Email denies the receiver that choice. The senders of it make *no* effort to target it. Even when the recipients indicate a desire not to accept it, the senders pay no attention. The messages themselves are increasing in size all the time, causing expense and nuisance to many people.

The response rates are, frankly, abysmal. A well-designed Web site, a few discreet announcements in the relevant newsgroups, and a well-maintained mailing list will go a long way to reaching the public which may be interested in the products, and probably produce the same absolute number of positive responses. The indiscriminate “scatter-gun” approach not only fails to reach the desired public, but generates a lot of ill-will, only a fraction of which is expressed in the net-abuse newsgroups.

You indicate that your received UBE is less than 10% of your total mail. I see you have not been posting in Usenet so much to date. Come back in a couple weeks’ time and tell us what the percentage is then. Of course, one can be very equanimous about that for which one does not pay directly.

From: George W. Mills (Beebit)