Friday, 26 February 2010

Do not spam

A feature of googlemail that I rather like is that you, the user, get to decide which messages are spam. This contrasts nicely with a friend of mine’s e-mail account which scanned his incoming messages with the zeal of a 21st century Revd. Bowdler and then deciding which were suitable for his view. This, inter alia, meant that all messages from a car club he was a member of were condemned because of their frequent references to lubrication. And we all know the problems the virtuous town of Penistone has had over the years. Googlemail at least allows you to choose. All messages come your way until you classify one of them as spam. Thereafter all messages from that sender become spam. This is great. This means that if I was a) unfilial; and b) she was computer literate I could class my mother (silver hair for the use of) as spam. I can do it to anyone. My boss (if I currently had one), my girlfriend (as before), friends and relatives could all find themselves – as far as googlemail is concerned – wallowing in the same moral stew as those impertinent people who keep trying to sell my pills by making personal innuendoes about my prowess and misspelling my name in the process which is doubly tactless. In a world where choice is stripped away from us in the name of safety, protection, security and – ironically – choice, this is a small freedom to be cherished. Enjoy it while you may.

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