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Commerce: Fight Spam!
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Not all Spam is commercial

As an example of why commercial vs. non-commercial isn't relevant:

I live in an apartment complex with a prominent "no soliciting" sign at the entrance. Each building has a large "no soliciting" sign over the front door. In spite of this, I get lots of advertising flyers left on my doorknob. Residents have the burden of throwing them away; they litter the hallways, and they send a clear message to burglars when someone is away from home. In short, they are a bad thing.

About a third of the flyers are from restaurants I don't want to eat in. About a third are from churches I don't want to attend. They're all useless to me -- it doesn't matter whether the perpetrators are trying to get my money or save my soul, the trash I find on my doorstep every week is equally unwelcome.

Should I treat flyers from Joe's Sub Shop differently than flyers from the Lakeside Baptist Church? Why? Why should the content of spam make any difference in how we treat it? There's a difference between buying a commercial spam mailing list and sending "postcards for Craig Shergold" to everyone you know, but there is no difference between sending out 100,000 copies of an advertisement for vitamins and sending out 100,000 copies of a political announcement.


Aliza R. Panitz / buglady@ability.net