Ignorance vs an attempt to help, or: Why the hell do I bother??

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Jamie Kahn Genet, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. So a less technically adept family member sends out a hoax chain email,
    and worse they include every recipient's email address on the CC line so
    all can see them.

    Growing tired of this inadvertant spam, said family members
    obliviousness to past attempts to educate them on this matter, and my
    email being given out to strangers, I sent a reply (that stripped out
    the hoax, BTW) to all recipients saying the following:
    My intention was to educate on hoaxes and perhaps alarm them into
    thinking before they share stranger's email address. Fat chance...

    My annoying family member continues to send this crap and I get a
    response from one of the recipients of my email above abusing me in a
    particularly vile manner and demanding I stop sending them crap.
    Obviously they are too ignorant to realise I'm not the person sending
    them crap, so into my killfile they go just in case they think to keep
    abusing me for something I never did.

    However I am... a little pissed off. A little disheartened. But mainly
    I'm wondering how do I get through to my annoying family member - the
    one who IS sending crap to everyone they know.

    Most new users I know get over this eventually. They wise up and learn
    how to spot obvious hoaxes. They eventually realise people don't want to
    see an endless stream of kitten pics and recycled jokes written in large
    obnoxious HTML. Hell - I've been getting some of this shit for over ten
    freaking years!

    But this family member of mine... *sigh* It's just not getting through.
    How have you guys dealt with this? Just put up with it? Try and teach a
    Bayesian spam filter what is an annoying forwarded email and what isn't?
    I've tried the later and it didn't work out too well.

    So - anyone been in a similar situation and have luck?

    Jamie Kahn Genet
    Jamie Kahn Genet, Apr 22, 2010
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  2. I know of one woman who calls herself an IT professional (she's done
    some MS courses after the Berlin Wall came down, I guess) goes on
    sending 2Mb stupid baby and kitten pictures to people whose 'puters
    she's worked on, even though some of them are very elderly and on
    dialup. Been told to stop that repeatedly. Doesn't.

    1st stage: I show the offender how to do te bcc thing. I explain how it
    is a security risk for everybody involved if they don't do that.
    (e.g. outlook borne address book harvesting viruses, and we've seen
    enough of them).

    2nd stage: escalation. I go up there and I explain in a loud clear voice
    that what they doing is extremely rude, a security risk, and the
    equivalent of posting other people's nude pictures all over the
    internet. WILL THEY PUH-LEEZE cease and desist. Threat of blocking their
    email issued.

    2b. I assume breaking their keyboard over their head and slamming their
    fingers in the door is not acceptable. so straight on to

    3. block their mail at ISP level. This is typically what I do for
    customers who have problems of this kind. I tell them to proceed with
    steps 1 and 2, if that doesn't work, the offender gets binned. Like, for
    instance, with several former customers of the aforementioned woman who
    are now my customers instead.

    On a personal note: I do NOT give out my 'business and serious
    personal' email to every Tom Dick and ragtag relative. I have a
    throwaway account for that. Two in fact, one for people whom I don't
    trust to be sensible, one for internet gaming, web forum registrations
    etc. who I suspect of maybe trying to spam me. Only people whom I do
    seriously business with or who can be trusted to be sensible get my
    'good' email. Period. So if some 'tard starts spamming my throwaway
    account all over the show, it won't become a systemic problem.

    My policy is to be very firm, quite definitive and clear how I view such
    activities and what risk they pose and how they're a violation of
    privacy to boot, and, if that doesn't get listened to, I get very very
    rude and still firm about it (in other words, I do not spit the dummy) -
    seems to work, I get maybe 3 or 4 of those mails a year. Maybe I don't
    know enough really thick people, though.

    And another example from the IT world. IGN took over some company who
    had my email. They immediately started to spam my inbox with several
    unwanted huge crap mails from a whole raft of subsidiaries every few
    days. (ironically it was called the snowball network). I unsubbed
    severally, which had no effect whatsoever on the volume of unwanted
    mail. I used a link provided to ask for their action on the matter,
    which get me a reply that they would stop, and they didn't. So I wrote
    an extremely rude letter, saying how I had tried to unsub severally, it
    didn't work, their activities certainly would be frowned upon in several
    legislations and would they really want me to gather material and go to
    the appropriate authorities as well as their upstream provider with that
    and GET THEM SHUT DOWN. I then sent this to [email protected], [email protected],
    [email protected] .... the crap stopped the very next day, never to start up again.
    (that's when I started throwaway account #2 b.t.w.).

    Peter Huebner, Apr 22, 2010
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  3. Jamie Kahn Genet

    Peter Guest

    In my experience, it is just ignorance. People behave better when they know
    how, although that can take a while.

    Sadly, the gullibility virus is still rampant.
    Peter, Apr 22, 2010
  4. Ha, I've seen that one before... sadly years ago when it was forwarded
    to me by a dozen different people :-D *irony failure on their part*
    Jamie Kahn Genet, Apr 23, 2010
  5. Jamie Kahn Genet

    Gordon Guest

    Get on his/her case and say that your e-mail address is not to be used by
    them. If they do you will arrange for some very non PC action to be taken
    against them. After all the Us of A takes similar action at times. When it
    is in their interest.

    You need the good filter, not them.
    Gordon, Apr 25, 2010
  6. Yeah... it's just not worth the family trouble that would arise from
    such a hardline response. Not that I havn't thought about it... :-D
    Jamie Kahn Genet, Apr 25, 2010
  7. Agreed. Talk to them nicely. Tell them why you don't want it, and what will
    happen if they continue to do it. If they persist, tell them not to send you
    anything. If they persist, it's the bit bucket for them. There's only so
    much you can do. :)
    Bruce Sinclair, Apr 28, 2010
  8. Jamie Kahn Genet

    victor Guest

    Show them how to use Facebook for their links and photos, its made for
    peeps who WANT to see an endless stream of kitten pics and recycled
    jokes written in large obnoxious HTML.
    victor, Apr 28, 2010
  9. Too late, I already am their FB friend. I loath FB, but certain people
    insist on using it so I have an account with which I've disabled every
    app and enabled every pprivacy control I can.
    Jamie Kahn Genet, Apr 28, 2010
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