Re: message overload and the delete key

William Bangs (wbbangs@U.WASHINGTON.EDU)
Sun, 12 Mar 1995 23:41:25 -0800

On Sun, 12 Mar 1995, Lee Komito wrote:

> A not so minor issue in all these messages that say 'just press
> the delete key if you don't like it' is that not all subscribers
> receive their email for free -- some pay for the privilege of
> receiving email that they have to delete. Every list develops
> its own ethos regarding appropriate and inappropriate postings,
> and, however difficult it may be to gauge when postings overstep
> the boundary, it seems counter-productive to act as if there
> shouldn't be any boundary -- unless, of course, one wants only
> list members who pay nothing to receive email and have enough
> time to skim every message that comes in.
> Lee Komito
> Dept of Sociology
> Manchester Metropolian Univ

--I hate to sound crass to these people, but it's a better idea to
complain to your service provider than censor Robert Johnson. Most of us
(I dare say, though I may well be wrong) DO in fact receive our e-mail
for free; in any case saying we should consider the potential worth of
what we post (write is really more like it; this is a mailing list, not a
newsgroup) because some have to pay seems a little like saying: we the
censors want you to self-regulate, or we'll do if for you (in a
threatening tone). These kind of arguments are circular: they invoke the
same logic as "Don't expose friends to unnecessary risks (in this case
financial)". Trouble is, here it's "If you do this, WE'LL have to do
THIS" -- another kind of threat entirely than that posed by, say,
politically impartial nature. Mind you, I'm not saying that Lee is in on
this insidious plot; he just perpetuates it to the extent to which his
remarks encourage ousting Robert Johnson. BOTTOM LINE: if downloading
Mr. Johnson's posts costs you money, just don't download 'em; if even
reviewing headers and bylines costs you you have a larger problem --
speak (at once) to your service provider.

Ben Bangs

Do what's right, not what's easy!