Spam! August 18, 2011 8:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm disappointed my spammy AskMe got deleted.

I asked a straightforward question, and honestly, I thought some of these categories would have been acceptable to email. As a refresher, here are the categories again.

a) family and friends
b) facebook and gplus friends
c) people I communicated with via email, even only once
d) 2000 email addresses harvested from a ridiculously open directory on a website narrowly targeted at my niche market
e) email addresses collected from businesses and organizations in my niche market via web surfing
f) email addresses from people writing their names down on paper at public gatherings
g) email addresses online surveys (LimeSurvey, SurveyMonkey) about my business idea
h) email addresses from Metafilter (4 people - narrowly targeted -- Canadian plus some other qualifiers) - same goes for other websites.

You will notice that there are 8 categories, and at least two categories are opt-in (category F & G - but my apologies if that was not clear).

I thank pomtomtom for actually answering the question, and EmpressCallipygos and bricoleur for good answers, as well as pecanpies and Horselover Phattie.

In response to some questions from the deleted thread:

jacalta What do you want to achieve?

I would like to let people know that hey, I'm in business now, and I am providing this service that I think you would like.

katillathehun Is this a stunt post or something? Because I can't imagine why anyone would think it's okay to ask who you can spam. Let alone who you can spam going back SIXTEEN YEARS.

No, it's not a stunt post. I've had the same email address for 20 years. I'm sure there are some email addresses that have been in use for the past sixteen years, and even if it bounces, what's the harm?

Chaussette and the Pussy Cats MySmallBiz, even.

I like the username. I want to start up my own business. It's descriptive of what I want to accomplish.

kingfishers catch fire I have the funny feeling you might not have any friends left if you did this.

My friends and family would be happy to hear that I'm starting up my own business.

EmpressCallipygos Okay, I'll play nice. Study your ISP to see what the rules are about mass-email (lots of them have a cutoff point of how many people you can cc on a single email, and if you exceed it they'll block your email from being sent). Then cull your list accordingly.

Actually, that's going to be my AskMe question next week. "How do I send out bulk emails? I have a Linux system."

pecanpies That...makes it even less legit, I'd say. If this is so legitimate, why don't you want it connected to your username?

Sockpuppet accounts are legitimate on Metafilter. I plan to ask more questions on AskMe w.r.t. my business idea, and I want to keep it separate from my usual Metafilter account.

Horselover Phattie At any rate, there are lots of SEO/direct marketing forums that will give you more help than AskMe.

SEO/direct marketing is shady stuff, and it's not hard to do either. I would prefer to ask a honest question on AskMe and get a honest answer.

---

Really, I am surprised that the AskMe got deleted. It was a blunt simple clear forward AskMe without any additional details obscuring the question.
posted by mysmallbiz to MetaFilter-Related at 8:17 PM (69 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Are you actively trying to get yourself banned?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:18 PM on August 18, 2011 [26 favorites]


Hey, what's the record for number of posts deleted in one day? No, no reason; I'm just curious...
posted by phunniemee at 8:19 PM on August 18, 2011


Why would I be banned? I'm not self-linking.
posted by mysmallbiz at 8:20 PM on August 18, 2011


I'm disappointed my spammy AskMe got deleted.

You'll get over it.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:20 PM on August 18, 2011 [11 favorites]


An owner's love is essential to the health of each and every cat.
posted by killdevil at 8:24 PM on August 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm disappointed my spammy AskMe got deleted.

I'm not.
posted by Forktine at 8:25 PM on August 18, 2011 [24 favorites]


Also, is it "who may I spam", or "whom may I spam"?
posted by mysmallbiz at 8:25 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm going to close this up now.
posted by killdevil at 8:26 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry, Forktine, but I disagree. Metafilter's answer seems to be "nobody" - it may not be the answer that I wanted to hear, but how is that not an useful answer to my question?
posted by mysmallbiz at 8:28 PM on August 18, 2011


I don't want to speak for the mods, but there are two problems with the question as you asked it: you weren't clear about why you wanted to send out a mass e-mail, and you used the loaded word "spam" to describe it. If you had phrased your question as "My online business is finally up and running, and I'd like to send out a mass e-mail to let people know about it. Etiquette-wise, which of the following categories of people would it be acceptable to send such a message to?", then it might have gone over better. As it is, you were basically saying "is it acceptable to send annoying unsolicited messages to these people?" without any context. And the answer to that question is going to be "no, it's not acceptable to send annoying unsolicited messages, you idiot."
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:29 PM on August 18, 2011 [42 favorites]


MetaTalk is for hugs, not for rehashing your deleted questions.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:30 PM on August 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


I too was disappointed when my last AskMe got deleted.

I didn't make a MeTa post about it.

I win.
posted by Trurl at 8:30 PM on August 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Send ten thousand emails to yourself and only yourself, and make yourself go through them one by one (reading, deleting, marking as spam).
posted by 6550 at 8:31 PM on August 18, 2011


Also, is it "who may I spam", or "whom may I spam"?

Who. Whom would be something like "For whom does the spam toll?" or "Whom may I spam? "
posted by Forktine at 8:31 PM on August 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


a and b.
posted by staggernation at 8:32 PM on August 18, 2011


Oops. Make that "To whom may I spam"
posted by Forktine at 8:34 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks, Johnny Assay. The use of the word 'spam' was deliberate. I suppose I could have used a less loaded word, but I prefer to call a spade a spade.
posted by mysmallbiz at 8:37 PM on August 18, 2011


I'm surprised that someone's been around mefi long enough to know what sockpuppets are and what meta is, yet doesn't understand why the username mysmallbiz and the word spam would send people into apoplexy.
posted by desjardins at 8:37 PM on August 18, 2011 [30 favorites]


This feels less like a legit "why did my post get deleted" and more like a second attempt to get your original post out into the world.

As for which emails to spam, why not just make a facebook page like everyone else starting a small business. Must less risk of annoying your potential customers and less damage to your personal social capital.
posted by jamaro at 8:39 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Also, is it "who may I spam", or "whom may I spam"?
Would you say "I may spam he" or "I may spam him"?

"He" and "who" fill similar roles, while "him" and "whom" fill similar roles. With that plus your answer to my first question in mind, would you then say "I may spam who" or "I may spam whom"?

And with your answer to my second question in mind, would you then say "Who may I spam" or "Whom may I spam"?
posted by Flunkie at 8:48 PM on August 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


yet doesn't understand why the username mysmallbiz and the word spam would send people into apoplexy.

I've just set up a new Web site for my small business at MyHerbalPenisEnhancementSite.com. Can you help me figure out how to spread the word about MyHerbalPenisEnhancementSite.com via unsolicited bulk email?
posted by killdevil at 8:49 PM on August 18, 2011


Forktine, "whom" is the objective form of "who", not specifically the prepositional objective form of "who".
posted by Flunkie at 8:49 PM on August 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


What's the benefit to me making a second attempt to get my AskMe out there? I was hoping to get some idea of what would be acceptable to send out and what wouldn't.
posted by mysmallbiz at 8:50 PM on August 18, 2011


hey MyHerbalPenisEnhancementSite.com, where did I mention my website?
posted by mysmallbiz at 8:50 PM on August 18, 2011


What's the benefit to me making a second attempt to get my AskMe out there?

Given you hard you're trying to get your AskMe out there again by rehashing it in MetaTalk, you must perceive some benefit to it.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:54 PM on August 18, 2011


OK, you can be the most unpopular person on Metafilter today mysmallbiz but I want my crown back tomorrow.
posted by joannemullen at 8:55 PM on August 18, 2011 [77 favorites]


Given the responses in the AskMe, I've already decided upon my answer. The purpose of this Meta is to object to the capricious deletion.
posted by mysmallbiz at 8:57 PM on August 18, 2011


joannemullen, I thought you were jonmc.
posted by mysmallbiz at 8:57 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I would opine that the use of the word "spam" and how to send it raised some flags. Next week word it more along the lines of "I want to send an announcement about my new small business. What of these categories would be acceptable to send the announcement to without prior permission?"
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:59 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Although to be clear, I'm no prescriptivist, and the use of "who" in any and all cases is perfectly fine with me.
posted by Flunkie at 9:00 PM on August 18, 2011


There was nothing capricious about it -- Johnny Assay summed it up very well. Or, on preview, JohnnyGunn.
posted by ltracey at 9:00 PM on August 18, 2011


I want my crown back tomorrow.

I can't stop picturing that horrible curried chicken crown from the aspic thread now. *weeps*
posted by elizardbits at 9:01 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


So folks have touched on the main points already, but, yes: you wrote a question that basically read like "how do I do something really lousy, here are some possible targets of the lousy thing I want to do" with a username that tied into the seeming sketchiness. Basically everything about the presentation was problematic, which is why folks flagged it to the dickens and why Jessamyn deleted it with a reason suggestion that if it's a legit question it needs to be seriously reworked for the next go around.

If people basically doing spit-takes at the question is a surprise to you, I sympathize, but this is a situation where it's poor presentation or a really poor reading of the room that's driving the problem. If you still feel like you need an answer beyond what you've gotten here, you can totally try and find a way to ask this differently next week in a way that is more clearly "I need ethical feedback on a business promotion concept" and less "here is my detailed notion of how to spam people, got any tips?" I'd be happy to look at a draft if you choose to do so, to give you feedback ahead of time.

Beyond that, reposting the whole thing here is likely to give a lot of people jitters because, your assertions to the contrary aside, it does read like a very Look At My Thing sort of move and is, again, mostly what people associate with problematic self-promotion of the sort that's very at odds with how the site generally works. Unintended or not, you need to accept that you're pushing a whole lot of buttons here.

If there's any specific outstanding questions about policy that you have, feel free to bring them, but otherwise you should cut it out with the hyper-responsiveness in here and stop making this further into a conversation between you and everybody else. Metatalk's fine to try and understand something if you need feedback, but it's not so great for that if you're basically just arguing with anyone and everyone.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:01 PM on August 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


mysmallbiz, you sorta got your answer before deletion. The resounding response was "do not do this." Some people even got a chance to respond to your clarifications, and the answer was still "doing this is very much like a processed meat product only not as tasty when baked with sliced pineapples on top." If the question had been left open, you would have gotten many tens of similar answers. It looks like you realize this now, so why do you want your question to be re-opened? It just looks suspicious is all, and that's probably partly why it was deleted to begin with.
posted by katillathehun at 9:02 PM on August 18, 2011


The purpose of this Meta is to object to the capricious deletion.

See above. You badly misapprehended what does and doesn't work on askme and sent up a whole passel of red flags. I understand you being frustrated at the deletion, but that doesn't make it capricious; this was one of the closest things to an auto-delete I've seen in weeks on the green.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:02 PM on August 18, 2011 [12 favorites]


Framing, framing framing.

Spam issues can be a hot button post. Bluntness does not exempt you from peoples ire about unwanted email. Nor does using a sockpuppet. Giving a nod to CAN-SPAM would have helped too.

Try a little more empathy for the recipients of your unsolicited emails and you might get more sympathetic answers here.
posted by lampshade at 9:05 PM on August 18, 2011


People doing spit-takes at a question on AskMe should be given timeouts or banned, no matter how "driven" they might feel by the question's presentation.
posted by cribcage at 9:06 PM on August 18, 2011


this was one of the closest things to an auto-delete I've seen in weeks on the green.

Yeah just to be crystal clear here, there are a lot of judgment calls that we make as mods and some where we basically view ourselves as the folks doing the clearcut bidding of the community. This was definitely the latter situation. Which is not to say that we couldn't intuit what your question might have been which is why I suggested a rewrite and a rework.

Additionally, reposting your question more or less here when you've already linked to it makes it look very much like you're trying to end run the deletion by trying to drum up conversation about your topic here and that's not going to happen. We'd be happy to chat more about what specifically was wrong with it and how you could rework it, but the question you asked was confusing and seemed very much more like someone doing weird unethical spammery stuff than someone with a business idea trying to find positive ways to promote it. Please try again if you want to next week and use some of the feedback you've gotten here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:07 PM on August 18, 2011


People doing spit-takes at a question on AskMe should be given timeouts or banned, no matter how "driven" they might feel by the question's presentation.

I was speaking to the figurative, behind-the-monitor spit-takes, manifesting as wetted monitors and clicked flags, not the ones submitted as comments. Those latter get deleted and people with a habit of it get talkings-to.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:08 PM on August 18, 2011


As someone who absolutely fucking hates getting useless "my new widget shop is open, come see!!!!!1!!!!!" emails, I am very glad that your AskMe was deleted. MetaFilter is not here to help you be more efficient in being a spammer. Get over it.
posted by palomar at 9:09 PM on August 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


h) email addresses from Metafilter

Seriously? I can't believe you're not banned for this alone.
posted by Gator at 9:13 PM on August 18, 2011 [37 favorites]


o.O
posted by zarq at 9:14 PM on August 18, 2011


Auto-delete? WTF?

"how do I do something really lousy, here are some possible targets of the lousy thing I want to do"

The answers were pretty unequivocal. Why not let the question stand as is.
posted by mysmallbiz at 9:16 PM on August 18, 2011


h) email addresses from Metafilter

FOUR. Four email addresses from Metafilter. I've been on this site for many many years. I would call that extremely narrowly targeted.
posted by mysmallbiz at 9:18 PM on August 18, 2011


wow
posted by lalex at 9:20 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been on this site for many many years.
Your profile (Joined: March 10, 2011) and your attitude suggest otherwise.
posted by sanko at 9:22 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been on this site for many many years.

But apparently gained little familiarity with its culture.
posted by donnagirl at 9:23 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


This (and that other time, you know, the one that ended well) is why I don't put my email in my profile.
posted by BeerFilter at 9:24 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sanko, the poster stated it is a sockpuppet account (it's also in their profile.)
posted by ltracey at 9:24 PM on August 18, 2011


FOUR. Four email addresses from Metafilter.

Just to double-plus clarify. If you send unsolicited commercial email to MetaFilter members based on your association with them here [i.e. not randomly or by accident because they're on some other list], that's a banworthy offense. Doesn't mean it will always result in an instaban, but that it's a big "You are not allowed to do this. Do not do this." sort of situation so whatever you decide to do going forward, strike that option from your list. Using members' personal information from their profiles or because they've contacted you for whatever reason for anything other than just normally contacting them isn't okay.

And to echo what some other people have said, you appear to be having some trouble understanding why people are having such a strong reaction to this. We will be happy to talk to you about it here or you can email us via the contact form if you'd like to discuss it privately. You seem to get why SEO/direct marketing is shady, but not the overlap between that and what you are proposing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:25 PM on August 18, 2011 [11 favorites]


mysmallbiz -- I said it there, I'll say it here.

It does not matter what it is you are advertising -- if it is unsolicited commercial email, it is spam. In many states, such a thing is illegal.

A good friend of mine is a reporter for a direct marketing business trade paper, and "how to responsibly handle advertising email campaigns" is one of the things they talk an AWFUL lot about. So I've had a lot of conversations with him about what does and does not constitute responsible email campaigns, and what is and is not spam. And based on those conversations, what you want to do is Spam.

If you're going to send out advertising email, that each person you email has to have "opted-in" to such a list -- that is, each and every person must, at the time you gathered their email, have EXPRESSLY STATED that "yes, I'd like to receive advertising email from you." You give no indication of having obtained this permission from any of the people you plan to approach this way. Therefore -- it does not matter who the people are, what you are selling, or how respectfully you word the email. They did not give prior consent to your emailing them advertising, and that is what makes it spam.

You are planning on spamming your friends, family, and strangers whose emails you "harvested." People have repeatedly explained this to you, and you persisted. You were informed you were asking about how to spam, and your question was deleted. You persisted, and reposted it here. In particular, you responded to my earlier warnings by asking a question about how to get around them. I hope that all of this finally sinks in, and you finally understand that you want to spam people, and the reason why it is spam is because it is advertising email that none of those people expressly said you had permission to send them.

I trust that you finally grasp the point now.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:25 PM on August 18, 2011 [20 favorites]


I don't care how few email addresses you claim to have harvested from here. You admitted your intent to spam MetaFilter users. If you'd really been an active member here for several years, you wouldn't even dream of thinking this was a good idea. In any case, you can't be trusted.
posted by Gator at 9:28 PM on August 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


I got to see the big red delete box in real time because of the OP! So there's always that!
posted by secretseasons at 9:36 PM on August 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Damn, this is better than the crappy Law and Order re-run I was watching. Popcorn anyone?
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 9:40 PM on August 18, 2011


The real spammers, you know who I mean, they're out there sending out millions of emails per day through open relays. And because I ask who its ok to spam and who its not ok to not spam; and use a trigger word that Mefites object to vicariously, I get piled on.

(who or whom? Forktine confused me even more)

Upon preview, I never got to see the red box for my own thread!
posted by mysmallbiz at 9:40 PM on August 18, 2011


damn, double negative
posted by mysmallbiz at 9:41 PM on August 18, 2011


Send me the email when you are ready to send it. Email is in my profile. Cannot wait to see what this is really all about.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:42 PM on August 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


mysmallbiz: “I'm disappointed my spammy AskMe got deleted.”

Forktine: “I'm not.”

mysmallbiz: “Sorry, Forktine, but I disagree.”

How can you disagree with someone's lack of disappointment? I'm not disappointed, either. I feel good about it. I feel a giddy sense of warm pleasure. Do you also disagree with my giddy sense of warm pleasure? If you go around trying to disagree with people's feelings, I think you're going to end up even more disappointed than you already are.
posted by koeselitz at 9:49 PM on August 18, 2011 [23 favorites]


mysmallbiz, the cornerstone of your argument seems to be "it's not spam because it's me sending it". It's still spam, please don't do it unless people have opted in.
Raising the issue again here on MeTa is just sleazy, please don't do that. You know beeter if you've been around as long as you claim.
posted by arcticseal at 9:50 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Send me the email when you are ready to send it. Email is in my profile. Cannot wait to see what this is really all about.

Oh man, me too! My email address (seriously) is junkmailandspamgoinhere@gmail. This is so exciting!
posted by phunniemee at 9:54 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


The reason I am raising the question in Meta is because my question was "I have these email addresses, which ones are ok to spam" - and it got deleted. I would posit that at least for two of the mentioned categories would be acceptable to send out emails.
posted by mysmallbiz at 9:56 PM on August 18, 2011


And because I ask who its ok to spam and who its not ok to not spam; and use a trigger word that Mefites object to vicariously, I get piled on.

Vicariously? No, sockpuppet (whoever you really are), I don't "object" to spam "vicariously". I receive spam daily. How can I object "vicariously" to something that actually affects me? Objecting vicariously -- that doesn't even make a lick of sense.

You're being piled on because you're digging in your heels and insisting on your right to be a complete asshole spammer, despite everyone telling you how bad of an idea this is.
posted by palomar at 9:57 PM on August 18, 2011


I would posit that at least for two of the mentioned categories would be acceptable to send out emails

a and b
posted by staggernation at 9:58 PM on August 18, 2011


Meta as performance art.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:59 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


So you listed 8 categories but even you "posit" that just two might be acceptable?

You're really committing to this troll-performance-art thing you're doing. I am impressed.
posted by secretseasons at 9:59 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Read the question again. It said clearly who(m) may I spam.
posted by mysmallbiz at 9:59 PM on August 18, 2011


Go back and read EmpressCallipygos's rundown again. If it's confusing, tell us exactly which parts you don't understand.

Your post was deleted because you were asking how to do something illegal, unethical, unpleasant, and rude. Your question was answered: you cannot spam any of those people. There are two people here who have asked for a copy of your email; those are the people you may send your email to. I don't know what more you want out of this post.

Any questions?
posted by KathrynT at 10:01 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


No one. The answer is no one. Do I get a prize now? Is my prize some unsolicited advertising email from you because I have my email in my profile?
posted by chiababe at 10:02 PM on August 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Okiedoke, this is going nowhere and we have to go to bed at some point. mysmallbiz, I'm not sure if you got what you came for but you don't seem to be clarifying what if anything this Metatalk thread is actually going to accomplish in terms of what Metatalk is likely to actually be useful for. Again, feel free to contact us via the contact form if you need to discuss something further, but I'm gonna go ahead and close this up.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:07 PM on August 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


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