Tarry for the Nonce

March 6, 2006

The Reality of an Urban Legend

Filed under: Politics — lmwalker @ 2:10 pm

I am uncomfortable with even the idea of an email tax:

For small fees ranging from 0.25 of a cent to one cent per message, bulk e-mail senders could bypass AOL’s junk mail filters and be sure that their messages get delivered to users . . .

The organisations protesting included the Democratic National Committee, The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Friends of the Earth and the MoveOn civic action group.

And so it begins. I would prefer to keep the Internet free and open and teach people how to use junk mail filters and the “delete” key. Honestly.

Besides, how much will it actually help? If a company advertising Viagra or all-natural Hoodia has the money to pay to bypass the filters, then consumers are returned to square one – and a few cents poorer, to boot. And what about the imbalance of the dollar? $0.01 is a lot less money to an American than it is to someone in the Sudan. It’s just a bad idea all around.

Note that this is probably the only time you will hear me agree with anything MoveOn has to say.


1 Comment

  1. This is one company changing its policy. It reminds me of how Ameritech sold our phone numbers in the 80s and now has us paying to keep those same people who bought our phone numbers from ‘reaching out and touching us’.

    I don’t see a problem with a company charging for this sort of thing… AOL sux, and their built-in spam filters work about as good as their spyware blockers…they don’t.

    I would have a problem if a government entity decided it wanted to try to bilk individuals by charging them for email; afterall, 90% of the infrastructure is not owned by the government, so I don’t see any real justification for an email tax. Fortunately for me, I run my own mail server (and AOL/Hotmail have my ISP’s IPs blacklisted anyway).

    They could decide that every piece of email is spam and start charging per email delivery. But the logistics of actually getting paid for that would be rather obscure. I’m still surprised people use AOHell; I tried it last year to get a free plasma tv, and they begged and pleaded with me not to cancel. It was rather pathetic, IMHO. AOL is for suckers, no doubt about it.

    I do know quite a number of people who use AOL to get ‘hook-ups’ with other users; however, since they use AOL, are they really worth ‘hooking-up’ with in the first place?! I think not.

    Comment by Andrew P. — March 8, 2006 @ 11:54 am

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