Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Ok, this is a bit off topic, but it is scandalous and has implications for all bloggers, and also for many who don't blog.

There is an outrageous suggestion that has been floating around for a while, and seems to have resurfaced after the recent Mydoom episode - that of paying to send email. The spin is that charging to send email will cut down on spam, and that spammers will be turned off spamming if even 1 cent were charged per sent email. This is a really quite ridiculous assertion. Old-fashioned paper mail costs almost a dollar to send including stamp and envelope plus ink, paper etc - and our good old fashioned letter boxes are still laden with junkmail. Paying to send junkmail does not deter the sender.

If one were to examine the contents of ones oldfashionedpapermail letter box one would probably find a good deal of junk mail from supermarkets, discount warehouses and fastfood outlets. What does this suggest to me? This suggests to me that the sender/s own a chain/s of stores and certainly have the available capital to print copious amounts of glossy four colour, if tacky, brochures. The postage cost is no deterrent.

I once house shared with someone who actually LIKed reading junkmail, she would sit down with a cuppa and laugh at it all, you know, the vibrating pillows and the face massagers shaped just like - well never mind, the point is that it didn't annoy her that much. And spam doesn't annoy me that much either. In fact, some people even compose poetry from spam... even spammers themselves are reportedly becoming, increasingly, poetic.

And for those who are annoyed by junkmail; spam, like paper junkmail, can be filtered from an inbox by the e-quivalent of those "No Junkmail" stickers that some people used to stick on their boxes.

Charging for email is a moneymaking scam and more revolting in its sales pitch then spam itself. It is another attempt to control and censor virtualspace with money, in line with recent attempts to charge for Linux and to sue for free music downloading.

I am incensed.


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