August 22, 2003

SO, I WROTE A POLITE RESPONSE to a critical email -- accusing me of hating Israel, of all things -- and got this back:

Thank you for your e-mail. In an effort to address the growing spam issue and to therefore respond to your e-mail sooner, your e-mail message with the subject of "Re: from little greenfootballs." has been placed in a temporary holding file. It will be delivered immediately after you complete this simple one-time process of checking the link below, in the future, all of your e-mails to me will automatically be delivered:

Let me be as polite as possible: buzz off. Why should I jump through a bunch of hoops in response to your unsolicited email, so as to ensure that you don't get unsolicited email? Give me a break. And if you use these services, don't bother writing me. (And yes, I know that this post is a lot like one that Jeff Jarvis put up a while back. Now I know why he was so irritated. Jeez.)

UPDATE: Just to avoid confusion -- I'm paranoid after the Ashcroft and Barlow affairs -- the email in question didn't come from Charles Johnson, who I rather doubt would do such a thing, but from one of his readers, for whom he's not responsible. [LATER: If I'd thought about it, I would have just removed the "subject" reference above, because it had nothing to do with Charles. But I was focusing on the "spam" aspect; the LGF connection didn't seem important to what I was saying.]

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Alan Martin notes:

It would be more productive to remind people to put the addresses that they send messages to on their safe list. Of course this would be avoided if the services that use this type of spam filter did this automatically.

Yes, that way you wouldn't be offloading your own spam-filtration work onto your correspondents. I don't mind getting unsolicited email -- but I do mind having to jump through hoops to reply to it.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Okay, in retrospect (it's Saturday now) I was probably a bit testy, for which I apologize. But my testiness was authentic -- I felt like someone who got a phonecall during dinner, only to have the caller switch me to voicemail. Note to anti-spam developers: you're going to have to come up with something better than this.

STILL MORE: Jim Davila doesn't like this software either.