is it a Viral e-mail, or is it spam?

so, I’m reading on a mailing list this morning a message from someone who wants to (in his own words):

send out HTML based viral email (yes you heard right) which highlights this fact and ssks the recipient to do 2 things – firstly vote Renewable or Nuclear and secondly, send it on.

I and several others said “that’s spam – don’t do it”. And he’s getting very uppity, because the cause is something to do with building (or probably not building) nuclear power stations.

it’s still spam though, isn’t it …

6 thoughts on “is it a Viral e-mail, or is it spam?”

  1. I don’t think viral is always spam; if you send it to friends rather than harvested address. If I mailed all my friends about the RIP extension with links to the Stand and, it might be viral but I wouldn’t say it’s spam. Asking them to pass it on is the viral bit but of course they might blat it out to harvested addresses…

    but being viral rather than spam doesn’t make it right/good. the business cards for the kid with cancer meme is STILL going. the women in Afghanistan petition surfaces often. these things persist past being useful.

    the net is a powerful mechanism for distribution and that deserves respect; viral mail can be just as irritating from friends as UCE. I guess the question is how much difference will the mail make? can it have an impact (like the Hunger Site) and so the irritation is ‘worth it’ or is a Good Cause that can’t be helped by annoying mail?

    1. sure to all that. But sending a) HTML, and b) anonymous (which I omitted to mention in my post) is bad, to me. We suggested that he use – if he must do it at all – a text mail and a web site. The furoré is still raging two hours later – makes an interesting read, anyway 🙂

        1. yeah, but you don’t need HTML mail to do that. You can send a text e-mail – pretty much all clients understand an http link nowadays.

    2. can it have an impact (like the Hunger Site)

      I think I’m with China Mieville on that particular subject; on underlying principle, that is, rather than conspiracy theory (though I guess I’m cynical enough to go along with the latter too with very little persuasion).

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