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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru loanuniverse's Avatar
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    Should there be a nominal charge for email to deter spam?

    Should there be a nominal charge for email to deter spam?

    How do you guys feel about a nominal charge for each piece of email being sent {something like $0.0001 per email}. I understand that the way that the infrastructure of the internet makes it difficult to put in place. However, adding an actual cost to spam would make people think twice about doing it.

    Would doing something like this encourage people to open fake hosting accounts, then send 10,000,000, and then just skip town?

    Would it encourage more highjacking of home pcs and hosting accounts?

    Would it encourage people to take their security seriously?

  2. #2
    <? echo "Kick me"; ?> petesmc's Avatar
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    It would never work. You would need central payments server (never a good idea). You would need all ISPs to adhere and enforce it (unlikely), and it's just too difficult to implement. Then again, I'd have no problem at all. That would have only cost me about $5 over the last 5 years. Lets ask Microsoft to implement it!

    -Peter

  3. #3
    We like music. weirdbeardmt's Avatar
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    What Pete said AND the fact that with your numbers, it'd still only be $1000. Which is bugger all when a lot of the spammers are raking in miillions of dollars a year. It just wouldn't work. At the end of the day, we're just gonna have to put up with it. People will always find new ways to block spam, but then spammers will find ways round the blocks...
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  4. #4
    <? echo "Kick me"; ?> petesmc's Avatar
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    I think people just have to learn not to click on spam links.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard Defender1's Avatar
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    Spam needs to stop being profitable before it'll calm down (it'll never really stop).
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  6. #6
    Employed Again Viflux's Avatar
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    I don't know about you guys, but these days, I rarely receive any spam in my Inbox.

    That goes for all 3 of my E-Mail accounts that I check constantly (outside of the corporate network, which of course receives no spam); GMail, Hotmail and my personal server.

  7. #7
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Like piracy and content filtering, spam is more of a social problem than a technological problem. Make it unprofitable/undesirable to spam and it will go away, that's it.

  8. #8
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    No, there should be prison time for spammers.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy someonewhois's Avatar
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    I remember a few years ago someone tried having a system where you pay a deposit, and the receiver has the option to return it. That way, if I got spam, I wouldn't give back the deposit, leaving them paying X dollars (I think I, the receiver, was able to specify how much of a deposit), while friends and clients I'd return with the click of a button. Good idea, except for a trust factor. Thing with that one was it doesn't require everyone to adhere - as it's an entire different network from standard e-mail. That poses another problem, though.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    Maybe we could build tazers into all computers and then zap people every time they send out spam or when they purchase something because of spam.

    Seriously though, even if the concept of a nominal charge on email was practical, I don't think it is a good idea. While yes it would be increasing the cost of business for spammers, it would also affect the operating cost of operations like SitePoint. Think how many messages they must send out each day in relation to thread postings.

    The best solution is a combination of technical means of blocking spam, educating users not to respond to spam, and punitive disincentives that make spamming less attractive.
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  11. #11
    Entrepreneur Spencer F.'s Avatar
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    You should never have to pay for sending email.
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  12. #12
    SitePoint Guru loanuniverse's Avatar
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    Yes, I kind of knew that it would be next to impossible to work. but the idea of "a deposit" sounds very good probably as unworkable as charging.

    It reminds me about the discussion in my graduate level law class, where the teacher would say in one class that Americans consider themselves moral, but one class later, he would start talking about the percentage of people that pirate intellectual property, buy knockoffs or stolen merchandise. I am surprised that I was one of the few that found that ironic.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loanuniverse
    I am surprised that I was one of the few that found that ironic.
    I'm not suprised, but it is very ironic and sad.
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  14. #14
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    No thanks, I pay enough useless fees as is. Who do you think this would really benefit? I get 0 - 2 spam emails per day (usially 0)...

  15. #15
    l 0 l silver trophybronze trophy lo0ol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by petertdavis
    No, there should be prison time for spammers.
    As one on /. put it- spamming will always be around until a law is passed that allows one to murder spammers.

    Actually a better sort of vigilante justice would be to track down and find the people that make it profitable to spam people- that .0027% of people or whatever. As long as people don't buy it then people won't spam.

  16. #16
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loanuniverse
    Should there be a nominal charge for email to deter spam?

    How do you guys feel about a nominal charge for each piece of email being sent {something like $0.0001 per email}. I understand that the way that the infrastructure of the internet makes it difficult to put in place. However, adding an actual cost to spam would make people think twice about doing it.

    Would doing something like this encourage people to open fake hosting accounts, then send 10,000,000, and then just skip town?

    Would it encourage more highjacking of home pcs and hosting accounts?



    Would it encourage people to take their security seriously?
    Who do you suppose would be responsible for receiving and dealing with the payments, and monitoring all traffic to identify what traffic is an email? ICANN? The US government? The United Nations? Would installing your own SMTP server become illegal? Could you be arrested for distributing email software? I think that the fact this is completely impossible to implement makes even the hypothetical situation hard to imagine.
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