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Stupid Media Watch: So Long, Spam My @ss

6/17/14
 
By Ken Magill
 
And the award for most idiotic editorial on the soon-to-be-in-force Canadian anti-spam law goes to ... the Calgary Herald and the Vancouver Sun!
 
This particular piece of stupidity originated with the Herald and appeared as a guest editorial in the Sun.
 
Apparently the Sun’s editorial staff is incapable of creating sheer stupidity on its own.
 
“So Long, Spam,” the editorial was headlined, hinting at the absurdity to come.
 
“It’s hard to imagine a more eagerly awaited law than Canada’s anti-spam legislation, which is to go into effect July 1,” the editorial began.
 
Really? Eagerly awaited by whom? Oh yeah. It’s eagerly awaited by the folks who think every minor nuisance in life requires federal intervention whether it will have any discernable effect on the nuisance or not.
 
“The law … stipulates businesses can’t send emails, such as newsletters or promotional material, or text messages, unless they first receive the recipient’s permission,” the editorial continued.
 
“The law poses problems for some small businesses because collecting all these consents comes with the requirement of keeping them in a database so they can prove permission was received.”
 
Some small businesses? How about all businesses that serve Canadian customers with email?
 
Canada’s anti-spam law will be all pain and no benefit. It puts onerous requirements on law-abiding businesses in Canada and the U.S. while failing to do anything to stop the unwanted messages that are for the most part already being prevented from reaching our inboxes.
 
“It seems to be a matter not only of lacking the necessary record-maintenance software, but in many cases, of being unaware the new law is coming into effect,” the editorial said, contradicting its opening line.
 
Which is it? Eagerly awaited, or are most unaware? Pick one. It can’t be both.
 
Then comes the sentence that shows how breathtakingly ignorant the editors at these two newspapers are of what it’s like to run any business.
 
“Small business needs to get on board; obtaining the software is far less onerous financially than paying a hefty fine.”
 
See? Just buy a simple piece of software and everything will be great, er, less onerous financially than a hefty fine.
 
That’s a selling point?
 
Apparently needlessly onerous, ineffective legislation is fine to these editors as long as it doesn’t involve spending their own time and money to comply.
 
The piece finishes with such abject stupidity, it’s difficult to figure out where to begin:
 
“As for the rest of us — recipients of all those emails — the law puts the power back in our hands. Things have reached such a point that for many people, there are more unwanted messages in their inboxes than there are welcome ones.
 
“A personal computer is for an individual’s convenience, not for that of a commercial enterprise targeting people for advertising campaigns. The anti-spam law is going to be a very welcome relief.”
 
No. It. Won’t.
 
The power is already in consumers’ hands. It’s called the report-spam button.
 
And as for those whose inboxes are cluttered with unwanted email, it’s a condition of their own making. It is also a condition that is easy to clean up without a new, badly written piece of legislation.
 
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Terms: Feel free to be as big a jerk as you want, but don't attack anyone other than me personally. And don't criticize people or companies other than me anonymously. Got something crappy to say? Say it under your real name. Anonymous potshots and personal attacks aimed at me, however, are fine.

Posted by: Carolyn Nye
Date: 2014-06-18 11:13:35
Subject: Love it

I especially love the comment: "Things have reached such a point that for many people, there are more unwanted messages in their inboxes than there are welcome ones. A personal computer is for an individual’s convenience, not for that of a commercial enterprise targeting people for advertising campaign " This coming from a newspaper, filled with unwanted advertising I have to look at, which does not ask for my permission. The first thing that loaded on this website was the giant orange "Advertise Here" button. This is truly laughable. Thanks for posting this!

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