Saturday, July 26, 2008


Recently I received an e-mail from Max Acke with the subject line Radio+Art+Education. The e-mail asks the recipient to visit his Dutch language site on radio, art and education. I do not know the man nor have I ever met him. As I do not like to receive e-mails out of the blue sky, I requested the sender to remove me from the e-mail list, saying that I consider his e-mail as spam.

I received a response to my e-mail from the sender (who claims to have a legal degree in international politics), saying that he did not exploit an e-mail list, but had a robot working for him which grazes sites for e-mail addresses in the Belgian (be) and Dutch (.nl) country domains of people hopefully speaking Flemish or Dutch. Once the robot has a package of 40 e-mail addresses, it sends off the batch with a standard e-mail text, promoting his sites.

The sender does not see the e-mail as spam. He defends his actions, by saying that he even does not know where the e-mails will go to. And if I do not want to receive the emails, I should (mind you) take action by using the possibilities of the e-mail browser. Put the filter on the address and all the problems are over, is his advice.

For the rest the sender thinks that he has a real world hit with his site and informs me that many Dutch and Belgian internet users have sent him thank-you notes. In other words, I should use my filter and keep my mouth shut. In passing he tells that this is the last time he will respond to my e-mails (he must a peevish old man, being disturbed in his hobby).

I could have rested the case, activated the filter, kept my mouth shut and use this blogging space for more sensible subjects. Daily I receive some 400 spams, ranging from Viagra and Cialis advertisments to photographs of Angelina Jolie (whoever she is). So I am used to it. But I think that MAX ACKE SPAMS. He collects 40 addresses at a time and attaches e-mail messages to them. The fact that he is not using an e-mail list, but a robot to collect the addresses is immaterial. He solicits addresses from people from the net, who did not ask for his e-mails. That the subject is cultural and not Viagra is also immaterial and that many people have sent him thank-you notes, does not change the fact that he performs spamming actions.

Blog Posting Number: 1170


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