19 July 2005

Attempting to eliminate email spam

Around a month ago, I got fed up with email spam (only a month ago?) and decided to do what I should have been doing for a while and begin responding to the opt-out options that were available. It had seemed easier to just delete them in bulk, but the bulk got too bulky, so I decided to see what SOP would achieve.

This decision was as impulsive as many of my decisions, so I don't have any metrics to measure success/failure. However, anecdotally, I believe that 80% of those meddling kids have been stopped. Pretty nice. Opt-out has required me to view every spam I get, which I believe is safe in Web email clients and all non-Outlook clients. Don't dare try it in Outlook or Exchange just for sanity's sake. And make sure you have your browser's cookie warnings set so that you're notified of any links or whatever. The only spams that have remained are: hot stock tips, viagra, and dating services of varying subtlety. Many of the text spams are jpgs that look like text. Viewing all of the spam, I've realized that there's some pretty weird stuff coming through.

Being human, and being me, I can't help but linger a little while over certain types of spam (winkwink), and there's this one dating service gif [really NSFW] that appears every few days. The girl in it has become like a pornographic familiar for my email client--appearing periodically and saying "hello". Topless. And I imagine thousands and hundreds-of-thousands of others that she visits with a greeting: "Wanna date? No? ... Whatever." Has anyone who's ever received the email accidentally met her on the street?

In 20 years, she could be an Internet legend, along with that Nigerian who has US$12,500,000.00 waiting for us all in a forgotten account.

[ posted by sstrader on 19 July 2005 at 2:54:30 PM in Culture & Society ]