Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Help Tal Johnson Fight Spam!

Here is an unedited missive I got from a Tal Johnson, who can be contacted at

This email was, ironically, filtered by my Yahoo mail as spam, which I routinely check for newsletters that I actually subscribed to. Our buddy Tal signed up for Yahoo today, so I suppose he's really committed to this anti-spam fight.

At any rate, here's his message. I'd point out the grammatical errors but can figure them out:


My name is Tal Johnson. I have been against useless spam email for quite sometime now. Recently my yahoo account has been filled with numerous loads of spam. In fact that is how I got your email addresses, through the Carbon Copy (CC) header that was sent to you of spam sent to me.

I am writing a petion to send to yahoo to invest more man power into stopping this sick mail that I and you have been getting. Aol and Hotmail have brought legal suites against spammers. Lets work to get yahoo to do the same.

Im asking you to support my cause if you are like me and are sick and tired of getting junk email in our boxes!

Please reply to me if you are interested in signing my petion to yahoo to stop spam. Right now, I don't have much people, but hoping that you will help my cause, if I get enough people I will start writing out a petion that I will either send you in the mail to sign, or online. Just reply and I will keep you in the loop and send more information.

Let stop spam. You can forward this to any other yahoo friends that you know that may be interested in supporting my cause.

Thanks for your help in advance,
Tal Johnson


So I called his bluff. Here's my reply:

Dear Tal,

As much as I'd like to applaud your valiant efforts in attempting to stop Yahoo from sending "useless spam", I'd like to point out a few things to you:

1. Suggesting that I send this email to other "Yahoo friends" constitutes spam, therefore you are not helping the cause by suggesting such an action.

2.The term "useless spam" is redundant. All spam is useless.

3. You repeatedly use the term "petion" in your manifesto. If you plan on creating a *petition* to help stop "useless spam", you might want to hire a writer to help you out.

4. Yahoo has already taken great strides in improving their email filtering system. Spam will always get through unless you choose to only accept mail from those on your address book - the only surefire way to avoid spam.

5. Can't you just delete the spam? It's a lot quicker than complaining to the world about it and rest assured, nobody is listening.

There is no immediate cure for spam, therefore I would suggest dealing with it until there is. If you let *any* email account sit long enough it will get spammed.

If you plan on proceeding with your "petion", by all means do so. But note that you are fighting something that cannot be defeated.

David Moreno


Tal's reply will be posted, should I ever get one.

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