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BREAKING: ACT Party Victim Of A Joe-Job
It appears that someone has been sending an unsolicited bulk email that looks to have come from the ACT party -- and indeed many people have already lodged complaints on this assumption.

However, this mailout has all the signs of being a joe-job (an attempt to damage the reputation of someone by spamming in their name) performed by someone with definite anti-ACT beliefs

ACT MP Stephen Franks has denied that the party is in anyway involved in the spam and says "it's not even phrased in the type of language we'd use when making an announcement."

More on this story tomorrow but it looks as if dirty politics and dirty tactics have hit the Net already...

Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact
Green Eggs (on face) and Spam 17 June 2002 Edition
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Million $ Ideas
At last, the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook are revealed for all to see!
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Maybe it's a symptom of tofu poisoning, or perhaps just the combination of winter weather and open-toed sandals dulling their senses -- but the Green Party is about to make a giant gaffe when it comes to using the Internet as a political lobbying platform.

According to IDG (see headlines below), the party plans to revamp its website and include what amounts to a "spam the editor" form.

Apparently, visitors to the site will be able to type up an email and automatically have it distributed to the editor of goodness knows how many publications all around the country.

Now, given that Green MPs (assuming there will be some after July) are paid handsomely for their services, I consider that this email will be of a commercial nature.

Also, given that no editor I know of has requested that their address be included in this list, I consider such email to be unsolicited.

And, since it's email that's being sent to many recipients in a single shot, it's also a bulk mailing.

Feature: Promoting Your Website
Dont' forget to check out the series of hints on how to promote your website which will be regularly added to throughout the next few weeks.

New this week: Writing an Effective Press Release

So let's see -- bulk, unsolicited, commercial, email. By jingos -- isn't that the common definition of SPAM?

I'm sure the Greens will disagree; but then again, don't most spammers usually include a similarly worthless disclaimer in their dross? "This is not spam, you are receiving this email because you have previously expressed an interest in...." or "This email complies fully with the proposed bill....". You know the sort of thing.

Sorry guys -- if it looks like spam, tastes like spam and smells like spam, then no matter how much you protest -- it's spam and should be treated as such.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
  • Greens... - Ian
  • Xtra... - Sam
  • www. votegreen.org.nz... -  Lynne
  • Have Your Say

    So what can be done to knock this type of stupid behaviour on the head?

    Well I urge any editor who starts receiving these bulk emailings to do what you'd do with any spam -- report it to the sender's ISP and ask that they enforce the terms of service associated with that account.

    I would also suggest that the hosting company (which appears to be Orcon) be asked to shut down the site as a spam-source.

    Certainly if one of these spams arrives in my mailbox that's exactly what I'll be doing.

    Do the Greens realise just how much damage their really stupid idea will do if just 1000 supporters a day decide to take advantage of this service? Do they really think that editors have nothing better to do with their time?

    But wait -- it gets worse!

    What's to stop entrepreneurial types from taking advantage of this service to distribute their press releases to all those editors?

    What's to stop supporters of other political parties from taking advantage of this service to voice anti-green opinions to all those editors?

    Sorry folks -- such a service would be a bomb with a very short fuse and if the Greens were to go ahead and implement it then they'd surely be doing nothing but illustrating that they're far from ready to have any say in the running of the country.

    Do the Greens really think that their supporters are so stupid or lazy that they can't work out how to send an email to the editor of their local paper all by themselves? How insulting!

    Now, before you all say that my opinions spring from political bias -- I have to say that I was actually planning to vote Green this election.

    Okay, so it's more a protest vote than a genuine desire to see them hold the balance of power -- but I'm certainly not pushing the boat of any other political party.

    Unfortunately, this little plan by the Greens has showed me just how unready they are for coping with even the most trivial level of responsibility -- so I guess I'll have to go back and rethink my voting strategy.

    What's Going On Here?
    You're probably asking -- what's going on? Why is Aardvark Daily being published this morning after I told you all that it was going to disappear?

    Well the number of people who said they'd be prepared to subscribe eventually reached just over 100. At $50/year that's still a long way short of coming even close to offsetting the costs involved and isn't really an option -- but a sponsor has come out of the woodwork and made an offer that looks as if it will keep Aardvark alive.

    Sponsorship has always been my preferred option -- since it keeps the column free for everyone while ensuring its continued publication without quite so much of a fiscal loss.

    An announcement should be made in the next day or two about who the white knight is and what it means to readers.

    Have Your Say
    As always, your comments are welcomed. Please remember to select "For Publication" if you want them included on this site.

    Have your say.

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