The Story of "Nadine" -- A Tale of Mailing Lists

Discussion:  "Why don't you just unsubscribe?"

As a general rule, I am a proponent of the principle that people should be never be required or expected to unsubscribe from a list that they did not voluntarily and knowingly place themselves on.  In the case of the "Nadine" messages, of course, there was actually nobody in existence to do the subscribing, so the "subscription" should never have taken place.  There should have been an administrative message requesting confirmation of the subscription, and in the absence of a confirming reply no further traffic of any sort should have been sent to Nadine.

I might argue that, from a practical standpoint, I did unsubscribe -- that in fact I (or rather, "Nadine") received a message from someone who should have been in a position to speak authoritatively for the mailer, stating that the subscription would be terminated.

However, since that original unsubscription promise was not fulfilled, and since the original owners of the list did not understand the important point that permission cannot be sold, "Nadine" now is faced with dozens and potentially thousands of lists from which she must attempt to unsubscribe, one by one.

Then again it could be said that technically I actually already have unsubscribed, many hundreds of times.  Each bounced message should have been an indication to the list manager involved that the address was not of any use and should be dropped, even if only to save the sender's resources.  With few exceptions, however, the senders have kept pounding away even though the information needful for an efficient bounce-based unsubscription mechanism is frequently embedded in the envelope sender string.

This is not right.

Next:  Essay:  So, What's the Point of All This?

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