Now that I’ve spent a substantial portion of my life interacting and communicating within cyberspace, one might reasonably assume that I understand and find a way to live with spam. The more I think about that assumption, the less patient I become with the tyranny of spam.
The simple solution is to consider it an inherent evil of Internet space – something we need to ignore and overcome. But I am not happy with that methodology. To me, it’s the same as tacitly accommodating child abuse or crime in the schools. Before you want to accuse me of dramatizing the evils of spam, I want to suggest that it has more importance than clogging your inbox or junk folder.
Because we don’t know exactly how it’s perpetrated or operates (at least I don’t), it may well have greater significance than we want to acknowledge. Ultimately, I wonder how safe my information becomes if companies have free will in generating emails that I don’t want to see. Here’s the example I have to offer.
For the past few weeks, I have used one of those dandy tools called “security and privacy” from my email provider. Methodically I have blocked all sites from one specific spam source and so far, I am at fifty plus sites, all from the same basic address, with various dot coms. Many of these dot coms are ridiculous non-words, evidently created to enable them to send the spam.
Yes, I understand that my efforts may be a substantial waste of time, but I feel that I have an opportunity to make a statement (or perhaps a whisper) about not wanting to be inundated with junk. This is not to suggest that I have given up on championing causes that are much more significant and have greater chances of success. But I can only wonder what would happen to the garbage we receive if many took decisive actions to remove it.
Can we and should we spend time on cleaning up our inboxes or junk folders? You may want to suggest that to do so is restraint of trade – the companies that dispense this form of filth have as much right to do so as our laws allow. But I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we worked cooperatively to remove porn, trash sites and garbage from the web. Shalom.