Wednesday 29 April 2009

A "Monster" Spammer (NYSE:MWW)

Update May 1 3.30 UTC: several listwashing requests.

Dear (NYSE:MWW),

You are spamming me. Stop it. Please.

You're sending marketing email to an address that has never given informed consent to receive it.

Not only that, but you're even breaking the spirit, if not the letter, of the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act. While your unwelcome missive does include the proscribed physical address and unsubscribe link, they are displayed in white text on a white background.

Yes, really. (I dare say they'd be more visible if my email client displayed HTML images by default, but like many clients, it doesn't.)

Naturally, it's also in violation of the law in which your UK subsidiary operates. There was no "prior consent" given, within the meaning of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. Offenders are liable to a fine of up to £5,000 in a magistrate's court, or an unlimited fine if the trial is before a jury.

Update May 1 3.30 UTC:
I've received a couple of email messages and a Twitter DM from Monster, expressing apologies for the situation. Sadly, these expressions of regret don't extend to actually fixing the spam problem; they appear to be an attempt to listwash.

Sorry, Monster; listwashing is bad practice. My standard operating procedure is to never unsubscribe from a list that I did not subscribe to.

If Monster wishes to solve this problem, it would stop sending email to addresses of people who did not subscribe. I'm open to a public dialogue on this subject: feel free to tweet or comment here, rather than privately emailing or DM'ing.

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