Spam from gmail
steven at REMOVE.THIS.cybersource.com.au
Thu Feb 25 02:30:00 CET 2010
On Thu, 25 Feb 2010 11:39:08 +1100, Ben Finney wrote:
> Spam is better defined as unsolicited bulk messaging. Whether it's
> commercial in nature is irrelevant. The content is relevant only in that
> it's unsolicited by the vast majority of its many recipients.
I've read tens of thousands of messages to comp.lang.python, and
solicited perhaps some hundreds. Are all the rest spam? I should say not!
I haven't solicited them: at no point did I say, explicitly or
implicitly, "Hey strangers all over the world, send me messages asking
questions about Python" but I do welcome them.
(In fact, I'd be annoyed if everyone started sending the questions to me
personally instead of to the list.)
I think it is foolish to try to create a water-tight definition of
"spam". It is clearly a fuzzy concept, which means sometimes right-
thinking people can have legitimate disagreements as to whether or not
something is "spam".
For example, I happen to think that the OP's message about Fascism is off-
topic but not spam. I think Joan is guilty of a breach of etiquette for
failing to label it [OT] in the subject line, and she should have
directed replies to a more appropriate forum (a mailing list, another
newsgroup, a web forum, anywhere but here). But in my opinion, it didn't
cross the line into spam. I wouldn't be the slightest bit tempted to
killfile her, or flag the message as spam, in my mail/news client.
If other people feel differently, well, that's your personal choice. But
please don't try to tell me that *my* line between spam and ham is wrong,
and that *yours* is the only correct one.
(That last response is aimed at a generic You, not Ben specifically.
Stupid English language, why can't we have a word for generic you?)
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