Jon Lebkowsky on 8 Feb 2001 06:46:04 -0000

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RE: <nettime> Strategic Spam

> Of course, what stops me (and I'm sure everyone else) from actually
> sending out such ideas, no matter how beautiful and valuable they may be,
> is the fear that the act of spamming itself will sully the content and the
> sender, that the militant anti-spammers, many of whom are long-time
> "netizens" with an almost self-righteous sense of ownership over the net,
> will flame them out of existence for the simple ACTION of spamming,
> without even looking at the CONTENT.

Your concern here is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of spam,
which is traditionally defined as unsolicited commercial email.  Commercial,
as in somebody trying to sell you something. True, people are suspicious of
unsolicited emails whether or not they're commercial, and some clueless
people might accuse you of spamming when your intentions are completely

The best way around this is to establish networks or communities of
correspondents who agree to share emails.  This is a tactic that online
activists uses at various times... e.g. the Voters Telecommunication Watch
sent emails advocating various cyber liberties positions to an informal
network, members of an email list many or most of whom redistributed the
messages to others who also redistributed them... those messages reached
thousands across the Internet, and few if any complained that they were
being 'spammed.'  With the redistribution mechanism, the messages were
forwarded to the next hop by someone who the recipient knew as a trusted


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