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How Powerful is the Turn-Off Power of Spam?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the spam-and-its-anti-marketing-effect dept.

Spam 114

JayBonci asks: "Here's a question to the Slashdot readerbase. How powerful is the turnoff power of spam? With an upcoming political election in the United States, and a nation not very-well defended against mass unsolicited emailings, what kind of anti-marketing medium is spam? Could a spammer push out millions of: 'V0te for G3orge W. Bush!' or 'J0hn Kerry for Presidnet@', in the hopes to turn off (or on) voters. Spam marketing penetration is terrible (I've heard figures like .001%), but how powerful is its anti-marketing capabilities? An interesting discussion for the Slashdot audience." How often do you make the decision to NOT buy something form a company because you know they engage in spamming activities?

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GNAA Announces Launch of GNAA Europe (-1, Troll)

Iesus_Christus (798052) | more than 10 years ago | (#9906285)

GNAA Announces Launch Of GNAA Europe
GNAA Announces Launch Of GNAA Europe

London, England - Top GNAA officials have confirmed the long-rumored launch of the company's new European division, putting to rest myths that the organization had reached stagnancy in its membership.

The announcement came on the heels of the 2nd quarter membership and financial report of GNAA, Inc, which had reported a 15% decline in new memberships, down from 250,000 in the previous quarter. Investor confidence in the public company's stock dropped shortly afterwards, amid rumors of corruption and poor management in the highest levels of GNAA.

"The launch of GNAA Europe should put to rest these myths, as well as open up an entirely new market," announced GNAA spokesman penisbird, speaking from the new GNAA Europe headquarters recently constructed in downtown London. "For years, statistics have shown that Europe, with its generally more liberal atmosphere than that of the United States, contains a higher percentage of gay niggers. As GNAA membership places stringent standards on both the race and sexual orientation of its applicants, a higher percentage of potential candidates can only work to our advantage. From our consumer polls and surveys, we expect to accept nearly 10,000 members into GNAA Europe in the first week alone."

The new GNAA Europe headquarters, described as one of the most technologically advanced and nigger-friendly corporate headquarters ever built, is a sure indicator of GNAA's current success. With its lavish outside garden, complete with African sculpture from renowned sculptor Gary Niger, as well as its grand lobby featuring a 3-story ceiling and ornate gold decorations, the building has attracted much attention from tourists and local residents alike. Even more impressive is that which is not seen by the casual visitor: the specially constructed "pleasure centers," accesible only to GNAA members, allow for extravagent orgies with more than 100 participants each. Located on the upper floors of the building, they provide food, entertainment, and bedding for orgy-goers, as well as a wide selection of sex toys, including whips, chains, lube, dildos, gloryhole booths, and even a sample of GNAA's mysterious new pleasure-enhancing drug, code-named "NIGGERSEED."

Since its inception in 1992, GNAA, the Gay Nigger Association of America, has been dedicated to uniting gay niggers for one common purpose: to be gay niggers. Its rapid growth after its IPO showed strong public interest in the endeavor, which is the first of its kind. More recently, GNAA has posted profits in excess of $500 million every quarter in the last 4 years, placing it among the most profitable of organization of its kind.


About GNAA:
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.________________________________________________.
| ______________________________________._a,____ | Press contact:
| _______a_._______a_______aj#0s_____aWY!400.___ | Gary Niger
| __ad#7!!*P____a.d#0a____#!-_#0i___.#!__W#0#___ | gary_niger@gnaa.us [mailto]
| _j#'_.00#,___4#dP_"#,__j#,__0#Wi___*00P!_"#L,_ | GNAA Corporate Headquarters
| _"#ga#9!01___"#01__40,_"4Lj#!_4#g_________"01_ | 143 Rolloffle Avenue
| ________"#,___*@`__-N#____`___-!^_____________ | Tarzana, California 91356
| _________#1__________?________________________ |
| _________j1___________________________________ | All other inquiries:
| ____a,___jk_GAY_NIGGER_ASSOCIATION_OF_AMERICA_ | Enid Indian
| ____!4yaa#l___________________________________ | enid_indian@gnaa.us [mailto]
| ______-"!^____________________________________ | GNAA World Headquarters
` _______________________________________________' 160-0023 Japan Tokyo-to Shinjuku-ku Nishi-Shinjuku 3-20-2

Copyright (c) 2003-2004 Gay Nigger Association of America [www.gnaa.us]

Enough is enough (4, Funny)

aztektum (170569) | more than 10 years ago | (#9906295)

"V0te for G3orge W. Bush!' or 'J0hn Kerry for Presidnet@'"

Please /. editors run stories through a spell check. It should be "'Vote for George W. Bush!' or 'John Kerry for Presidnet'."

Re:Enough is enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9906341)

Two trolls in one! Great work there, sir!

Re:Enough is enough (2, Funny)

Joff_NZ (309034) | more than 10 years ago | (#9906372)

Presidnet ?

Re:Enough is enough (2, Funny)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 10 years ago | (#9907925)

Presidnet ?

Yeah, that's the low-speed, centralised network that the other candidate in 2000 "took the initiative in creating".

Re:Enough is enough (0, Offtopic)

alatesystems (51331) | more than 10 years ago | (#9909030)

The link in your sig refuses links with /. as the referer. What is the point in having that as your sig on /.?

well ... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9906342)

let's see.

1) I don't buy Viagra.

2) I don't like to watch pictures of my naked next door neighbour.

3) I'm quite happy with my university degree the way it is, thanks.

4) And, I'd rather not apply for another mortgage.

All in all, spam doesn't turn me off of any companies, because none of the companies that I *would* have bought from (wisely) don't use spam in the first place.

Re:well ... (1)

yorugua (697900) | more than 10 years ago | (#9909601)

I guess, having received some spam about mortgages and stuff like that mostly directed to US citizens, it really makes one sad about the whole SPAM issue : even If I were stupid enough to buy one of those things, I would not be elegible for most of the stuff... what a waste of resources... anyway, nothing new in here. Anyway, living in a small country outside the US, a few times I have received spam from local companies. On a couple of times, I just gave them a call asking for the product mentioned in the e-mail, mentioning the spam itself, when said products are something I could have bought at some point in time. Then I tell them that althought I'm doing this this and this, and that I could have had good use for your ethernet/printer/webcam/whatever, I'm writing down their phone numbers, names, brands they are selling and all that stuff just to make sure I'd never buy anything from then or that has to do with them ever again. Yeah, it might be a loosing battle, but it made me fell good (and yes, I not buying nor voting any of you guys ... Uruguay is a small country, and that's certanly a funny way of loosing either sales or votes). Guess spam is for big countries/markets where you can have enough "market" for the stuff they sell. But in small countries like ours, some "respectable" firms that you see next to shopping centers or in offices down town are using "SPAM" techniques!! it's just awfull!! and even local politicians are jumping into the spam-game (even one that used to be the CEO of the government owned telco company!!! ) (or then again, maybe their adversaries sent the spam :-). sad... sad ... sad...

Re:well ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9914161)

a funny way of loosing either sales or votes

"losing".

Re:well ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9913124)


I don't like to watch pictures of my naked next door neighbour.


In some ways, you and I are very different people.

Re:well ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9913134)

However, the point is, what if you received spam from somebody you were going to buy (or vote) for?

Re:well ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9921548)

Well, if you were going to buy from/vote for them in the first place, what's the point of the spam anyway?

Advertisements are typically used to get new customers/voters.

Re:well ... (0, Flamebait)

Bingo Foo (179380) | more than 10 years ago | (#9923242)

You know, Kerry seems unprepared to admit the extent of the problem with worldwide militant Islam, and Bush has enacted a bold foreign policy based on preemption which has kept the fights off our shores for three years.

On the other hand, if I get one more "Voet Bu$h" email, I'd be willing to risk this nation's future with a scaled back and purely reactive war strategy.

Sure.

Re:well ... (1)

bonkedproducer (715249) | more than 10 years ago | (#9927831)

Are you sure you don't want another degree?

"...none of the companies that I *would* have bought from (wisely) don't use spam..."

So all of the companies you buy from do use spam? Good Lord man!

Re:well ... (1)

james11111 (804249) | more than 10 years ago | (#9937905)

I agree. However, ihave somehow managed to get zero items of spam on one of my mail accounts, without using any spam filter!

in this election (5, Insightful)

a11 (716827) | more than 10 years ago | (#9906353)

.001% may just be what wins the chair

Re:in this election (3, Interesting)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 10 years ago | (#9906794)

Last time around, a change of only about 200 voters would have changed the outcome. (The difference in Florida, IIRC, was 400 votes, and half that number needs to change.) Out of a hundred million voters, that's 0.0002%, so you were (amazingly) overestimating the quantity needed.

Re:in this election (2, Funny)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 10 years ago | (#9908091)

Last time around, a change of only about 200 voters would have changed the outcome.

The Supreme Court isn't nearly that large. {wry grin}

Seriously, the margin of victory in the 2000 election was within the margin of error of the polling system. It works OK when there's a substantial margin between the leading candidates (e.g. Reagan over Mondale, Clinton over Dole), but it simply isn't capable of measuring with the precision that a very close race requires.

Re:in this election (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 10 years ago | (#9908745)

> Last time around, a change of only about 200 voters would have changed
> the outcome. (The difference in Florida, IIRC, was 400 votes, and half
> that number needs to change.) Out of a hundred million voters, that's
> 0.0002%, so you were (amazingly) overestimating the quantity needed.

You're being inconsistent here. If you take the number 400 (thus 200) from
the very small area in Florida where the outcome was very close, then you
have to calculate the percentate that they constituted based on the number
of voters there, not based on the number of voters in the entire nation.
If 0.0002% of the voters in the entire nation switched, spread out over the
whole nation proportionately, the outcome would have been the same.

And anyway, an election anywhere near that close is unusual, and it's very
unlikely we'll see that again this time. Heck, if Kerry doesn't come up with
a better theme than "I'm different from Bush", it could be a landslide. That
kind of campaign gets you Burger King's market share. Think Dukakis.

Re:in this election (1)

spin2cool (651536) | more than 10 years ago | (#9908821)

That figure doesn't make sense. You have to remember that the national vote totals don't matter at all, thanks to the electoral college. The only thing that matters is winning individual states.

So, Florida had around 6 million people vote in the last election. If 200 people made the difference, then it was .006%

Either way, though, it's a damn small number of people. So no matter what your political beliefs, get out and vote this year.

Re:in this election (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9923236)

Last time around, a change of only about 200 voters would have changed the outcome.

How, exactly, would the outcome have changed? Do you mean that Bush might have actually won?

yes but 0.001% will that outweigh (1)

wadiwood (601205) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912961)

yes but 0.001% will that outweigh the numbers that are pissed off by the spam? That is the question here?

Since spam marketing only measures success by the numbers that do buy their product - not the numbers who say "no way". And a vote against a candidate will mean more than a non-purchase of viagra.

Perhaps spam for Nadar (or some other independent) could thow the required spanner in the works.

Probably not very powerful (2, Insightful)

billmaly (212308) | more than 10 years ago | (#9906411)

As the world becomes more and more aware of what spam really is (crap), it's influence grows less and less. Most people are already decided on an election, and Jesus H Tap Dancing Christ, I hope those who are stupid enough to vote based on "Bush/Kerry sent me spam, so to hell with them!!!" just don't vote.

So, in conclusion, I think most people who receive email from G30rg3 Bu$h realize that the Republican party likely did not send that message, and mail from J0hn |3rrY is probably equally suspect.

Re:Probably not very powerful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9906456)

That's spelled J0hn |3rry

Re:Probably not very powerful (4, Funny)

Enrico Pulatzo (536675) | more than 10 years ago | (#9906482)

|<3rry

use the &lt;

HTML Entities are your friend, or else a powerful enemy bent on global domination. I forget which

Also, preview is a friend

Re:Probably not very powerful (0, Offtopic)

TheLink (130905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9906739)

But slashcode isn't your friend.

It's a bug when Plain Old Text isn't Plain Old Text.

Re:Probably not very powerful (1)

foidulus (743482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9907807)

And they will not let you put an & without putting in an amp; after it, and they will also not let you put a &# without nuking it(obviously I used the codes here)
Any way to get around this?

Re:Probably not very powerful (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9908261)

Use code or extrans for "real plain text"? & <B>test

Re:Probably not very powerful (1)

james11111 (804249) | more than 10 years ago | (#9937913)

Nobody is really going to beleive that the spam came from one of the presidential campaigns.

Not as powerfull as telemarketting (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 10 years ago | (#9906436)

(See subject [kennesaw.edu] .) (via frankie [slashdot.org] 's journal [slashdot.org] )

Mysterious Science (2, Funny)

shfted! (600189) | more than 10 years ago | (#9906637)

I don't know, but if it can enlarge my penis, it must be fairly arousing!

Re:Mysterious Science (1)

raider_red (156642) | more than 10 years ago | (#9923839)

I think that was one of the candidates' campaign promises.

This is more delicate than that (2, Interesting)

dacarr (562277) | more than 10 years ago | (#9906689)

The fact is, due to the nature of spam, it's more likely to be used as a smear tactic. Yes, there are historical notes of candidates attempting to spam (and apparently failing miserably), but there is the vague possibility that (say) Ralph Nader could perpetuate spam touting the virtues of Kerry and Bush - and we'd never know it was Nader that did it.

Now, in all fairness, that's not to say that Nader would do such a thing. Any candidate could be doing that to any random candidates - just treat the names as variables and there you go.

Re:This is more delicate than that (0, Troll)

eyeye (653962) | more than 10 years ago | (#9907609)

Zionists have already used this technique to try and smear people who do not agree with their views with some success. They faked lots of spam from certain people with twisted messages to try and discredit them.

Re:This is more delicate than that (3, Interesting)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 10 years ago | (#9908131)

Zionists have already used this technique...

Kind of like you're doing right now, trying to smear and discredit "Zionists" by portraying them as lying spammers? This is a tradition that goes back at least a century, with the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion [wikipedia.org] (an anti-semitic hoax) being a prime example.

Re:This is more delicate than that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9918529)

Hence the talk about 'anti-marketing' in the original article.

I hate you (1, Funny)

OwlofCreamCheese (645015) | more than 10 years ago | (#9906782)

I hate you, I hate you SO much.... whatever your asking this question with a plan to do, I hate you and hope you explode in a shower of guts and gut juice.

Re:I hate you (0, Troll)

nlindstrom (244357) | more than 10 years ago | (#9907083)

But ... but ... I prefer OwlofCreamCheese petrified and covered in hot grits!

Re:I hate you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9914140)

whatever your asking this question with a plan to do

"you're". (Even with this correction, your sentence makes no sense. Maybe "whatever reason"? No... I give up.)

Are kidding me? (5, Funny)

yawgnol (244682) | more than 10 years ago | (#9906790)

What a strange example to use in your premise!

You think SPAM is going to have an effect on this election? SPAM!? You must be living in a different America my friend, because you can send Men In Black to beat me with rubber hoses while writing "Kerry Killed Your Cat HA HA!" in blood on my wall and I will still drag myself on broken arms to the polls to cast my vote against Bush on election day.

So no, we're well $#%@ beyond spam making a difference at this point...

Re:Are kidding me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9920477)

great another "as long as it isnt bush" idiot

because kerry is going to make everything perfect.
HAHAH
HAHAHA

HAHA

Re:Are kidding me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9931018)

Heh.

They don't realize that I _sacrificed_ the kitty with a ceremonial dagger when I swore the blood oath that George Bush is as fired as George Jetson.

For me personally, not so powerful in politics (3, Insightful)

astrashe (7452) | more than 10 years ago | (#9906833)

The whole campaign is so ugly that aggressive spamming wouldn't seem like a really serious annoyance to me. I'm more worried about the lies and character assasination.

Forget about it (3, Insightful)

GCP (122438) | more than 10 years ago | (#9906843)

Great, another Michael Moore. "How can I trick people into voting my way?"

A mailbox full of V1@gra spam doesn't make me hate Pfizer. I think Michael Moore is an obnoxious liar, but his propaganda tactics aren't going to get me to change my mind and vote for Bush in protest.

I'm so sick of the emotion-laden nonsense from both sides, when there are genuine, thoughtful, interesting, and useful arguments to be made that might allow for creative solutions. Instead, though, people like this questioner seem to feel that deceit is a better approach for dealing with significant issues.

Re:Forget about it (2, Interesting)

alonsoac (180192) | more than 10 years ago | (#9907500)

That may be the case if we are talking about the elections. But I do tend to try not to buy from people that use spam to advertise, whenever I can. I just don't think it's fair with the people who decide they will not advertise with spam because it doesn't fell right.

Re:Forget about it (0)

hsoft (742011) | more than 10 years ago | (#9907918)

Absolutely right buddy! Yeah, right on. I love Bush. His war pays my new ferrari and my new house, I wouldn't want anybody else as a president! And I wouldn't want anything else than Barney as a president's doggy! Anyway, we all know that M. Bush is guided by God, how could he ever be wrong? Well, ok I must admit that Bin Laden and all those evil musli are ALSO guided by (another) God, but.. well, it's not the same thing at all, is it?

The only thing I hope is that Iran is next, or why not try Vietnam again? Why not invade Canada? Well, it doesn't matter, as long as I can buy a new house next year.

Vote Bush in November. In fact, it doesn't matter who you vote for, because if Bush doesn't win, we'll hack the e-voting system. Bush will then become the first president of USA to have been non-democratically elected twice.

-- Lockheed Martin president.

Re:Forget about it (1)

SagSaw (219314) | more than 10 years ago | (#9910038)

Well, ok I must admit that Bin Laden and all those evil musli are ALSO guided by (another) God, but.. well, it's not the same thing at all, is it?

Actually, I'm pretty sure that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all follow the same god. They simply have differing beliefs as to which individuals in the past had true insight into God.

What the fuck does Moore have to do with this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9908707)

Do you have some sort of obsession with Michael Moore? Do you think he's any worse than, say, Karl Rove?

Re:What the fuck does Moore have to do with this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9916917)

define "worse"

Do you mean, more willing to use any tactic in order to prevail?

Do you mean in some absolute moral sense?

Do you mean, worse because more of the pundits who you mindlessly follow call him bad and not Moore?

Wake up. They are two somewhat overweight people with specific political objectives. Both probably sleep soundly at night.

no affect on me (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9907037)

First of all I don't actual even see but maybe 1-2% of the spam I receive.

Second, I *do* get tons of lefty spam. I even ended up on one of Michael Moore's mailing lists for some unknown reason.

And I have friends and even *clients* sending me anti-Bush stuff.

I hate all the lies and propaganda and crap, especially from that fat fuck (Moore). But I'm still voting for Kerry, almost entirely because I believe Bush made a mistake with the war and should be booted out.

So I guess if a person has their mind made up, the spam won't change it, either way.

Christ, with the 24-hour "newsertainment" channels, I'm amazed there are still undecided people in the country. It seems like everybody is forced to take sides. Everybody is constantly hearing the same BS and talking points repeated over and over and over. Everything has exactly two sides, and hardly anybody has any opinions from the other side, and there's no nuance, no middle ground, no informed opinions.

Do I need to mention that yes, the political system has become a joke due to the press reducing everything to an episode of Crossfire? Not exactly the answer to your question but just the general decay of our society I guess.

No effect except to kill third parties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9923234)

I agree with most of what you said, but to truly say it has no effect on you requires that you vote for the party you support; i.e. not republican and not democrat, no matter how much you hate the other. There is a middle ground; it's called third parties, and some people do refuse to budge from them. That's what really bothers me about this--people honestly do believe they can only vote for one of the two bad choices they are presented with.

This is not directed at you, I'm just venting: Every time someone says the four words "throw your vote away" I have to resist the physical urge to slap them from the sheer overwhelming hypocritical idiocy of that statement...My vote does not count in the vote for president (I vote Libertarian every time and they have had 0 votes in determining the leader of the free world in their entire history...) but that's only because everyone else insists that their only choices are republican and democrat, and that is THEIR FAULT for believing it, acting on it, and thus making it true...

If you bitch about lack of choice in the two-party system and still vote for one of the two parties, you're not a victim of the problem, you ARE the problem.

You obviously hate the two-sided schlock of bullshit coming from the two near-identical authoritarian ass-camps, so tell everyone else to screw off and vote for who you want, not against who you don't want.

Even if your vote is thrown away, at least you're not adding to the problem. And if enough people start using their brains one or two at a time, eventually it will be enough to actually fix it.

Everyone who reads this, if this concept bothers you, if you hate Bush or whatever, DO NOT vote for Kerry! DON'T! Don't vote for Kerry and don't vote for Bush! Vote for a real candidate, for chrissake! Stop adding your own strength to maintaining the two-party quagmire!

(/FILIBUSTER)

Re:No effect except to kill third parties (1)

bonkedproducer (715249) | more than 10 years ago | (#9927877)

The vote is never thrown away. Think about it, if the Libertarians (or insert whatever variable third-party you want here) get 15% of the vote, they lose right?

While most people would say "those voters threw away their vote" most people would also be wrong. Because the two major parties would take notice and say "Hey, that was a closer election that we thought, those libertarians got 15% of the vote, maybe next time we need to lean a little more toward their views to help win more support from them. This has happened in the past with the socialist party in America, and could happen in the future with any of the the third-parties.

Just food for thought.

I #$%^ing hate spam! (1)

terrox (555131) | more than 10 years ago | (#9907075)

I hate spam so much that I would take action against spammers of any sort.
I max out my spam filtering and block a lot of common spam tricks outright.
I do waste a fair amount of time blocking spam and checking that nothing was accidentally blocked. Although I think it is time well spent because I am blocking it from other people too.
If I knew how to track down the spam that did get through, then I would be waging war on those people for sure. They piss me off. I hate it.
If I got spammed to vote Bush, or Kerry I would not give a rats ass because I am not American and it doesn't matter what I think because I can't vote for either of them. I do have an opionion and I hope others have the same opionion but I don't think that vote spam would do anything at all.

Re:I #$%^ing hate spam! (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 10 years ago | (#9913715)

You should check out Thunderbird [getthunderbird.com] if you get that much spam. @_@

Re:I #$%^ing hate spam! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9927905)

Uhhh... gee... how should I begin, hmmmm AH HA!

Asshat, I believe the entire point of the fucking question is - would this work:

"I want you to vote for Kerry, so I'll send you spam encouraging you to vote for Bush. You will be mad at Bush because of the spam, and therefore vote for Kerry."

Apparently, if you did live in America, and did give a "rats ass" about the election, it would work on you.

Way to miss the point entirely.

One words (2, Insightful)

jhoffoss (73895) | more than 10 years ago | (#9907079)

X-10

Well, sort of one word. I never did, nor will I ever, purchase an X-10 camera due to the popups that seemingly started the popup/popunder craze.

The sad days where I still ran Windows/IE unprotected. Man did I learn how to remove a lot of different spyware/adware.

Re:One words (1)

Alizarin Erythrosin (457981) | more than 10 years ago | (#9909770)

Not only that, but they seem to imply spying on your sexy female neighbors while they lay in suggestive positions on beds or couches.

Re:One words (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9911956)

This is wrong?

Not at all (4, Insightful)

nusratt (751548) | more than 10 years ago | (#9907306)

"How often do you make the decision to NOT buy something form a company because you know they engage in spamming activities?"

It's irrelevant.
I get 100-300 pieces of spam daily. For all but 5-10 pieces, all I ever see is the sender and the subject line, not the body.
Even if there's a recognizable brand-name in the subject line, the spam's usually from a sender who's NOT associated with the brand-name (e.g., Viagra).

In the few cases where the sender+subject plausibly *seems* like it might be from the legitimate brand, I never confirm it by opening the mail, for fear of whatever security vulnerability it might contain.

So I virtually never know that the brand-owner should be blamed for the spam.

Re:Not at all (1)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 10 years ago | (#9911642)

Funny, I don't get any viagra spam these days : Vagira, v.i.a.gra, vl4gr4 (whatever the hell that is), but the good people at Pfzier have been leaving me alone.

Re:Not at all (1)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 10 years ago | (#9927624)

It's not relevant for *you*, but if all Internet users managed to show half the responsibility of you, or even the worst troll on Slashdot, spam and virii probably would not be a problem in the first place.

Spam works because

a) people are buying it, and as such, it's profitable

or

b) it's not profitable, but people are buying the notion that it is and as such are sending it

Either way, it means that a lot of people are not well-informed. The same is true for the upcoming elections. I wouldn't let spam or a Fahrenheit 9/11 (which has more doubtful chatter about Bush than by him, frankly) change my political preference. You wouldn't either. But it'd be naive to think that nobody could be influenced, and as such I think the question is a valid one.

Still, I doubt it will happen. If you dislike Bush, you probably have your reasons already. The guy has been mocked and bashed for four years, so if you're still undecided, you'll probably vote for the guy in the White House anyway. So the anti-Bush crowd has no reason to spend money on discrediting Bush with spam.

Any dirt on Kerry however could still make a huge impact, but these kind of grassroots actions are much more likely to come from supporters of the challenger. That's why there weren't so many pro-war protests or pro-Bush rallies: satisfied people don't go out on the street for a protest.

Likewise, I hope noone will change their vote because Bruce Springsteen holds a concert against Bush, or because Britney Spears says she trusts him.

In the end, it comes down to the issues, in which case I'd rather go for the Prez who merely looks and sounds like a chimp than the challenger whose actually political course is about as straight as a banana. But that's my personal opinion, if yours is different, please vote differently.

California Spam King Bill Jones running for Senate (3, Informative)

dananderson (1880) | more than 10 years ago | (#9907382)

Spam King Bill Jones [billjonessucks.com] is running for U.S. Senate from California. He doesn't have a chance, but to make sure his spam activities receive broad daylight, please link to my website http://billjonessucks.com/ [billjonessucks.com] until this November 2nd. Thanks. We now return you to your regular programming. . .

marketing IS antimarkenting (3, Interesting)

Pegasus (13291) | more than 10 years ago | (#9907398)

For me, tv commercials already have such effect. For 90% of the junk there is, i remember it as NOT to buy.

If the majority of population would do the same, the world would be a better place :)

POOR marketing is antimarkenting (1)

Tactical Skyrider (249625) | more than 10 years ago | (#9908367)

I have the same resolve - but i do descriminate.

KIA is a prime example. I will not buy a KIA. is it because they're put-put cars? no. is it because they're made of plastic? no. is it because i have something against KIA? no.

it's because of all those damned corny commercials on the radio and television.

When KIA first came on the scene, they advertised dependable cars by showing a fellow with his back seat full of coffee cups. that was cool. i remember thinking, "oh. neat. maybe i'll consider buying one of those in a few months. i'm about due for a new car."

then.. a few months later.. suddenly their entire marketing campaign changed. now you have phoney celebrities, stupid hillbilly music, tons of little stupid sound effects, and there's one of these offenses in every commercial break on the radio and tv both. after such an enslaught, i firmly refuse to even remotely consider buying one of these little cars.

there are other examples of this... but just as there are negative marketing campaigns that firmly set me against the products shown, there are also a few highly positive ones - and i think the negative ones make the positive ones moreso. Those insane Quiznos commercials kick ass. Now i eat Quiznos. good food, with a good marketing strategy - honestly, i go there sometimes just because i support the decisions they're making in their use of the advertising media available, and want to see companies like theirs succeed.

in any event - i personally wouldn't vote for or against a political party based purely on whether or not i get spam about them. tho if it legitimately came from their party, i would take it into consideration.

Re:marketing IS antimarkenting (1)

switcha (551514) | more than 10 years ago | (#9925392)

If the majority of population would do the same, the world would be a better place :)

Nope. If uncouth advertising stopped working, the same people with the same ad budgets pushing the same products would just switch to whatever was deemed more "couth". Aside from the improved "crap ratio" of ads, everything else would be relatively the same, I think.

Advertising, whatever you may think of it, works. It's aimed at the largest common denominator and as that group goes, so goes the advertising.

Not that I wouldn't like to see less dumb crap on TV, but it is what it is. What's really sad is to think about how much you hate a particular spot, and then realize that some rube out there LOVES it as much as you hate it.

Easy now... (1)

Airwall (39346) | more than 10 years ago | (#9907448)

How often have I changed my buying habits because of spam? Either way? Never. I can't remember ever receiving spam from I company I'd heard of.

On the other hand, sending out loads of spam with the subject "I always knew I'd be able to vote Kerry online. sasquatch" would probably just target the same bottom feeders who buy viagra online in response to spam.

Pop Quiz (1)

nusratt (751548) | more than 10 years ago | (#9907822)

"For me, tv commercials already have such effect. For 90% of the junk there is, i remember it as NOT to buy."

Fill in the blanks.

1. "hey, BILLY MAYS HERE, TO TELL YOU ABOUT... "

2. "oh no, lost ANOTHER loan to..."

3. "Itchy feet? ssssssssssssweaty feet? SMELLY FEET? "

4. "eatin' gooooooooooood, in the neigh-bor-hood!"

5. "da-da-da-da daaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, I'm lovin' it"

6. "can they REALLY live with their heads cut off?"

Re:Pop Quiz (1)

YankeeInExile (577704) | more than 10 years ago | (#9908679)

It is at moments like this that I am glad to live outside my homeland.

As to your little quiz ... I have no clue what 1,2,3 or 6 are (But six is very intriguing!) I recognize the slogan for #4, but couldn't tell you who it is for ... Fridays maybe. The only one I can speculate a sponsor for is #5, and I think they're McDonalds.

Re:Pop Quiz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9909342)

#6 sounds like a roach-spray commercial. Cockroaches really can live for about a week after their heads get cut off, then they die of thirst. Just a little hint how much (or little) a roach needs its brain.

Re:Pop Quiz (1)

nusratt (751548) | more than 10 years ago | (#9909535)

The other responders covered it, except that #3 is Gold Bond Foot Powder.

My post was a whim, to test the question,
"If a commercial is sufficiently irritating or offensive, will the public remember the sponsor well enough to reject the brand-name at the *moment* of the purchasing decision?"

Billy Mays is especially irritating -- always SHOUTING, in a grating voice.

I'm surprised that being in TJ keeps you from hearing these.
Don't you still get bombarded by USA broadcasters?

p.s. -- is Tharek still not eating?

Re:Pop Quiz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9909270)

I'll take a shot...

1) OxyClean
2) ditech
3) tinactin
4) applebees
5) mcdonalds
6) orkin

Re:Pop Quiz (1)

alatesystems (51331) | more than 10 years ago | (#9909732)

1. oxy clean
2. ditech
3. no clue
4. no clue
5. mcdonalds
6. no clue

Re:Pop Quiz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9933062)

#6 IS THE ORKIN MAN!

Fake Spam: No Effect Real Spam: Big Effect. (1)

Big Sean O (317186) | more than 10 years ago | (#9907921)

If political parties send out _real_ unsolicited spam, I would freak out.

If someone just sent unauthorized krap, then I would just delete it like everything else.

AMEN! Well said (and underrated, should be 2+) (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 10 years ago | (#9908505)

no message here

Re:Fake Spam: No Effect Real Spam: Big Effect. (1)

BattyMan (21874) | more than 10 years ago | (#9927492)

OK here's what I can report:

Like pen(7191) below, I have spam from President George W. Bush. That's what's in the From: header. Actually I don't believe for a second that Dubya himself sent me a campaign flyer, it was sent. as far as I can tell from study of the headers and links, by the Republican Party (of which he is the nominal leader) on his behalf. I have three or four other spams in the same style (they're quite attractive html work, to be honest, and probably expen$ive) pushing a few different issues, all AFAICT coming from the Party, at both the national and state levels.

I tracked down the ISP used to send the messages, and it turned out to be ECMail, an outfit well-known as a "bullet-proof" spamhaus.
So, they were clueless enough to fall for a "pro" spammer's pitch.

Note that this was over a year ago. They were testing the waters of this "Popular New Electronic Marketing Tool(tm)".

Seeing how annoying this was, I replied. One of the spams asked if I thought a Regime Change(tm) was a good idea for Amerika. I replied with a half-page of very polite flamethrower fire which suggested that the Republican Party was badly in need of a Regime Change(tm) in its publicity staff, because spamming is such a negatively-received marketing technique that it would lose the election for them if they persisted in it.

I also made it clear that, after being spammed by them from both the state and national levels, neither the President nor any other Republican candidate would enjoy my vote in the 2004 election.

Well, that's how we treat spammers, isn't it?
Dust off, nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

This has caused severe political problems within my immediate family, but hey, they don't believe me about the Evil Software Monopolist, either.

To be fair, I found solid evidence of Democrat Party spamming as well, on news.admin.net-abuse.email and news.admin.net-abuse.sightings.

Fsck them, too. They can all burn in hell.

So both parties were clueless enough to _try_ spam, and quickly found it to be a negative thing, a year and more ago.

Now is the time for the dirty tricks to begin. Apparently they've already toasted Nader, as I have spam from him disavowing and stopping just short of apologizing for the smear pieces sent out in his name. Alas, he's not on the ballot in AZ, so this will spare me the risk of discovery as I would have had to put a bag over my head to vote for him.

You've just stepped into another dimension. A dimension of sight, and mind. A dimension rooted in imagination, innuendo and lies. You've entered: THE CAMPAIGN SEASON.
{Twilight Zone afficionados: feel free to improve my quotation}

Reality and truth have been shut off like a faucet. Nothing you hear or see from now until the first Tuesday of November can be believed.

I've gotten election spam (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9907987)

in Finland during our last municipal elections. A huge number of people at my university (Helsinki University of Technology) got election spam to vote for a student here. It raised quite a heated discussion in some news groups - especially because the message was in Swedish. The reason is that because it's the second official language Finnish-speakers are forced to learn some in school and many don't like doing it because of a 6 % minority (instead of spending the same amount of time learning a more globally usable language) - even though Linus belongs to that minority :) (and consequently had to learn Finnish). In this case many were wondering who really sent it because it wasn't sent from his university account - the student himself, a "helpful" friend of his, or another candidate? I myself got convinced that it was the idiot himself because I found out that during the previous elections he had gotten somebody to put up an ad for him on the university home page.

nerdy fool (0)

Glog (303500) | more than 10 years ago | (#9908176)

Why is there always some nerdy fool who thinks there is a technical solution to each one of society's problems? What's the name of that coalition going to be... "Geeky spam-haters for Bush"?

My advice: if you want to help defeat the incumbent put your creative energy to better use.

It turned me off (2, Interesting)

pen (7191) | more than 10 years ago | (#9909057)

The George W. Bush campaign sent me some campaign announcements to an address that I gave only to a particular "marketing" company. The e-mail address was sold to hundreds of spammers (it's where I get about 75% of my spam), including georgewbush.com. It was the official campaign newsletter (I confirmed the headers), and they did honor my unsubscribe request.

The e-mail address was only given out once to a single entity.

Re:It turned me off (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912331)

And do you know which "marketing" company this was?

Re:It turned me off (1)

pen (7191) | more than 10 years ago | (#9916133)

Yes, it was a company called Clickdough.

Re:It turned me off (1)

UdoKeir (239957) | more than 10 years ago | (#9923427)

I got two purportedly from the Kerry campaign. They were very well designed but were fakes. Here's [google.com] a brief analysis of the same spam as I received.

So, in short, someone is spamming in Kerry's name. Whether it's to garner support for him or lose it, I don't know.

Reminds me a local election (2, Interesting)

Omega1045 (584264) | more than 10 years ago | (#9909185)

This tactic reminds me of a local election a few years back. The incumbent sent some people around with signs and stickers for the opponent, generally trying to be rude and force the materials on them. The local news even ran a couple of stories about how the contender was trying to force people to put campaign signs in stores, front lawns, etc. The incumbent was doing really well because of this false-negative publicity for his contender. Then a couple of days before the election someone finally figured out what was really going on. The contender one in a land slide victory on the public backlash.

Re:Reminds me a local election (1)

yuri benjamin (222127) | more than 10 years ago | (#9936339)

Facist regimes pull this stunt on peaceful protesters. They plant antagonists among their ranks to make them look bad, or to give law enforcement an excuse to get brutal on them (after all, the "protesters started it!")

Does spam influence my buying decision? (1)

nemexi (786227) | more than 10 years ago | (#9909212)

How often do you make the decision to NOT buy something form a company because you know they engage in spamming activities?

As far as I can tell, I haven't received spam from any "real-life" companies I knew before. Therefore, spam had no influence at all on my buying decisions. Of course I won't buy from mass-mailing companies, but then I never intended to up to now.
Can someone tell me: which well-known companies have engaged in spamming activities? Except for Microsoft, of course, which strangely failed to pay me for forwarding their mail [truthminers.com] ...

Re:Does spam influence my buying decision? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9909341)

Can someone tell me: which well-known companies have engaged in spamming activities?

DeVry University/ Keller Graduate School of Management sends spam.

Re:Does spam influence my buying decision? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9913243)

I have received several spam emails from a company that I used: a computer company (in the UK) called Evesham Micros. They used an address which I had not given them, and I've seen publicity about their attempt to market through spam, though the negative publicity has led them to stop.

I though they were respectable and have recommended them to other people, but now I shall never use them again, no matter how much and how often they apologise. It seems the least I can do.

How Powerful is the Turn-Off Power of Spam? (3, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 10 years ago | (#9909486)

Very. Take a woman out to dinner, offer her spam, and just see how far you get.

Spam has turned off our email (2, Informative)

ONOIML8 (23262) | more than 10 years ago | (#9909776)

I can tell you that nobody at my place of work will ever bet troubled by election spam. Or any other for that matter.

As of last week our core group no longer uses email. We agreed, as a group, that email is not productive as compared to a combination of paper memos, phone calls, faxes and runners. The amount of spam that we had to sift through and the money and effort to fight it wasn't worth the trouble.

Sure, we could have spent some more and tried to filter it better. But our focus is supposed to be on other things (emergency management, law enforcement, etc.) and not fighting spam.

So I guess the spammers win.

Or did they? They just lot a small part of their audience. Not that they'll notice. But I wonder how many others will give up on it like we've done.

Re:Spam has turned off our email (1)

Frobnicator (565869) | more than 10 years ago | (#9910500)

As of last week our core group no longer uses email. We agreed, as a group, that email is not productive as compared to a combination of paper memos, phone calls, faxes and runners. The amount of spam that we had to sift through and the money and effort to fight it wasn't worth the trouble.

<snip>

Quit playing Monopoly with Bill. Switch to one of many non-Microsoft products today.

I love the disparity between your comment and your sig. It is trivial to set up a mail daemon that only runs inside the office or known set of offices, optionally requires a login, and doesn't accept external mail. If you have somebody who is competent at non-Microsoft system admin, they should be able to set up that kind of mail system with less total cost to the organization than a system of faxes and runners.

Re:Spam has turned off our email (1)

ONOIML8 (23262) | more than 10 years ago | (#9911944)

Your right, it is trivial as long as our group only had to deal with our group. It's the interface to the outside world that gets flooded. We've found that it is quicker and more reliable to have a document printed and faxed to us than to have it emailed because of all the spam.

Spam isn't a problem that is caused by or limited to Microsoft. Our county, as a whole, has had Novell, Microsoft, Linux and BSD based email systems. All are/were impacted. Other departments that continue to use email are highly frustrated.

Re:Spam has turned off our email (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912340)

And you couldn't setup mail filtering to only accept mail from certain IP addresses? It shouldn't be that hard to keep all email internal, even if that's spread out over offices around the world.

Re:Spam has turned off our email (1)

ONOIML8 (23262) | more than 10 years ago | (#9913555)

Yeah, our IT guys suggested that. But then if I'm going to be working with someone, say another comm tech from a company in Seattle, I have to ask him for the IP information of his system. He wouldn't know so he's got to go to his IT guy, get the information, send it to me, I give it to my IT guy who sets it up. Two months later, when that project is over we would then remove his IP address.

Then there is the issue of the contract guys. They work from home usually and are on a variety of ISP's. You never know what IP address their email would come from.

All that just so we don't have to sort through 20 to 100 spams a day? It's more trouble than it's worth!

Re:Spam has turned off our email (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9916799)

google for grey-listing. an automated way of doing just this.

been using it for months now, works just fine.

(Only thing that bit me was freshmeat.net wanting to check my email was valid, and of course getting trapped. took a while to figure out/remember that's what it was; explicitly white-listing them took 30 seconds.)

Re:Spam has turned off our email (2, Interesting)

awehttam (779031) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912408)

Why turn off Email?

I mean, why not switch to a private, internal Email domain instead?

Re:Spam has turned off our email (1)

ONOIML8 (23262) | more than 10 years ago | (#9913526)

That would be wonderful but we already have something like that. What we lack is a way to interact in the same way with someone outside the group.

Re:Spam has turned off our email (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 10 years ago | (#9916938)

Easy. Only accept replies to mail that you've sent. A sendmail filter could be set up to do this easily.

Re:Spam has turned off our email (1)

awehttam (779031) | more than 10 years ago | (#9918143)

Ah, fair enough.

A sendmail milter would do the trick nicely (or sendmail+mimedefang, then do some mimedefang-filter perl magic to select against a database of known senders).

Unfortunately it's still prone to spoofed Email. I don't really blame you for ditching Email, I think a lot of users are these days.

Look at Howard Dean (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9911404)

Howard Dean ("YEEARGH") ran a marvelously successful SPAM campaign, spamming the daylights out of people. Then was able to play the "oopsie, I didn't do it, someone I hired did it without my consent", but then he CONTINUED to spam. He was attempting to make himself out as the "candidate for geeks", and blew it all with this. We all know how he ended up.

The best part? I'm not even American and was getting his spam.

"real news" spam (1)

DrEasy (559739) | more than 10 years ago | (#9918084)

Well, I get this one regular spam entitled "REAL NEWS", which is some sort of weekly roundup of american events viewed from a far right wing point of view.

I'm still not sure though if the agenda is indeed political (one way or the other) or rather to shock you enough that you'd end up replying to it, hence validating your email address so that you can get some viagra spam next.
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