The Spam Virus:
Destructive but not in the way you might think

Spam... what is it? It's any email sent without permission. It's posting to a message board with the full intent to advertise... without permission. It's placing an ad inside an ezine accused of spam, believe it or not!

It's the new virus that is affecting responsible webmasters and publishers.

ISP's and List Servers have a policy against Spam. They have a nice little panic button that people can push and scream, "I've been SPAMMED!" The results can be anything from a little warning, to losing your ISP or OPT-IN list overnight.

But who's really getting the blame? Is it the irresponsible publishers who buy lists from the black market? Is it the people who lurk about the Internet going from website to website collecting the mails and then sending out their spam messages?

No, it's not! These days it's not those sneaky spammers. It's the good reputable and responsible people who are standing in amidst an angry mob shivering and crying out, "What did we do??? They asked to subscribe!!...I have PROOF!"

But does anyone listen? Has this new virus made the ISP and List servers blind? Is this virus so strong that soon the world will be screaming "Spam! Spam!" like the little chicken that claimed the Sky was falling down?

This new form of chaos has become the new plaything for the hackers and people that created the email virus. The horrible fact is, anyone can yell spam! No skill required.

Reputable webmasters and ezine publishers take great care in building their own opt-in lists. Sometimes the way to get on a list is by accepting a special offer. Get something free for joining a list. It's simple and it's honest. It's how we, the ezine publishers, are able to build our OPT-IN lists. Once the subscriber joins, it's up to the publisher to keep them interested.

What happens if you join a list and later decide it's not for you? Are you forever captured in the grip of these ezine and newsletter publishers? Is there a way to cancel???

Of course, there is. Any responsible list owner will have the unsubscribe instructions clearly posted at the top or bottom of their list. Is that enough?

Apparently not. The Spam virus seems to have produced the idea that you are guilty until proven innocent. The question is this: Is anyone working on the antidote?

Let's examine recent factual events:

The virus starts with its evil host, the one who Yells Spam! Spam! unjustly, because they either forgot they had opted into the list, or worse, they simply wanted the pleasure of spreading this new virus.

What happens next is this. The ISP host cancels your account. Guilty without a trial. The list service deletes your entire list. Guilty without a trial.

Personally, I have extremely loyal subscribers. My email reads like fan mail and I can't imagine the day when I would wake up and not be able to deliver my latest issue. What would my readers think? How would I tell them what happened? More importantly...

Why do these services have the right to stamp a Guilty verdict on us without hearing both sides?

Many of the list owners and others have had proof that the spam claim was false. However, the Spam virus is so strong that even when providing the antidote, proof the claim was false, the ISP and list services are not listening. Whoops, sorry, we deleted your list and never even considered you might be innocent.

How deep and how far will this virus spread? The virus has mutated. You can now reap the side effects of the Spam virus if you place an ad in an ezine or newsletter that has been accused of spam!

Where will this stop? What's the answer? Where's the antidote?? Who will protect the innocent from this new virus? How many CD's have you received in your mailbox asking you to join this or that ISP? Isn't this Spam??? Junk mail is spam. It's only a matter of time before the cyber-virus becomes the next drug of choice for hackers and crackers.

By Chrisi Darrington
Helping new webmasters understand how to profit online.
Subscribe to Netwoozy,
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Edited by Patty


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