[Mailman-Users] AOL's "Client TOS Notification"

Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Sun Jul 15 03:56:58 CEST 2007

On 7/14/07, Larry Stone wrote:

>  But it's always been clear that AOL assumes everyone outside is a spammer.

The scary thing was that, when I was working there, every few months 
we'd get a whole new raft of VPs in the company, they'd all get sick 
and tired of the spam they were getting, and they'd all pressure us 
to implement all sorts of damn stupid ideas that had been reviewed 
and rejected years ago.  We got to the point where we had a very long 
multi-page FAQ that we'd send to every single VP who ever broached 
the subject with us, and that would usually shut them up.

When the VPs of the company can't be bothered to even try to 
understand the problem well enough to know what additional viable 
measures can be applied, and pressure you to do all sorts of damn 
stupid stuff, there's only so long that the people with any clue can 

>  They probably can't get their minds around the idea that some of their own
>  customers subscribe to lists and then mark them as spam when they no longer
>  want them rather than properly unsubscribing. And that we, as responsible
>  list owners, want to get them off our lists.

Most of their decisions are made by the marketing department, and 
have no grounding whatsoever in anything remotely resembling reality.

Besides, Goodmail pays them money for every Goodmail-signed message 
that they accept, so it's in their financial best interests to ensure 
that only Goodmail can send e-mail to them.  So far as they're 
concerned, it's perfectly fine for them to pimp out their customers 
to Goodmail senders.

>  I know some will disagree but if it comes to it, then I just make it clear
>  that I don't accept AOL users as subscribers. If they want to subscribe,
>  they will have to do so from a "real" ISP.

For as long as I worked at AOL, and ever since, I always tried to 
encourage people with half a brain to go somewhere else.

I even finally got my Mom off AOL.

Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>, Consultant & Author
LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>
Slides from Invited Talks: <http://tinyurl.com/tj6q4>

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