[OT?] HTML email is evil - or, why we get so much spam

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Fri Nov 24 11:48:06 CST 2006


J. Landman Gay wrote:
> Bernard Devlin wrote:
>>  >>
>> Might I ask what mail client you're using? Just turning off images is 
>> pretty much sufficient; you don't have to disable HTML altogether.
>> <<
>> 
>> Thanks, Bill.  I realised that, and I had checked my email client.  It 
>> doesn't allow me to turn off images, only disable HTML rendering. 
> 
> I turned off HTML mail entirely in my email client (Thunderbird) years 
> ago, and the newsletters come through just fine as plain text.

Me too, also many years ago.  Professionals who send newsletters 
commonly do so in both text and HTML; those who insist on HTML only are 
the ones I unsusbscribe from immediately.

If it weren't for a handful of my customers I provide support for who 
don't know how to turn off HTML in their email clients, I would reject 
HTML emails altogether.  But alas email software vendors think it's cool 
to encourage folks to send their text via email in bloated formats, and 
it's a trend far more pervasive than I could ever hope to address myself.

So instead I stay on top of a custom filter which block certain patterns 
used by spammers, phishers, and other criminals, and while I still get a 
few dozen coming through daily I'm able to block several thousand a day.

It's been tempting to blame this on a lack of international enforcement, 
but as they say, "regime change begins at home":  more than a third of 
the world's spam comes from the US, and more than 25% of that comes from 
just three counties in Florida.  Simple domestic enforcement would kill 
a significant percentage of spam, and send a clear message to others.

But alas, the US government apparently feels they have higher priorities 
than stopping the loss of tens of billions of dollars in productivity 
across the nation.  Oh how very grateful we all are that they reserve 
their precious time for things like changing the Congressional menu to 
drop "French Fries" in favor of "Freedom Fries", only to change it back 
three years later.  Truly the Land of the Brave.

--
  Richard Gaskin
  Managing Editor, revJournal
  _______________________________________________________
  Rev tips, tutorials and more: http://www.revJournal.com



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