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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast snowman2004's Avatar
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    Have you been accused of spamming? I have!

    I was accused of spamming even though I did not spam anyone.

    If you are accused of spamming, your registrar will block your domain name. Potentially, they could shut your business down! - and that could end people's livelihood, or remove an important source of income for them.

    It seems like an injustice to me because you may be simply guilty of sending some emails to someone else who has not agreed to receive them. The punishment seems far out of proportion to the crime.

    I think this really is an international scandal and I wanted to know:-
    • if others here on Sitepoint felt the same way
    • if others on this forum had experienced anything like this, themselves
    • and what they thought.
    If you think this is a post defending the big commercial spammers, it is not. They deserve to be closed down.

    The problem is that internet hobbyists with mailing lists, people trying their hand at internet marketing and people like me who bought domains with a bad history all get caught up in this mess!

    Luckily, I cleared my name. But, when I started to research what had happened and what I should do, I came across lots and lots and lots of stories about people who suffered because they:-
    • sent out a small quantity of emails without the recipients permission
    • were simply accused of spamming
    • owned a domain name that had been used for spamming.
    I appreciate spam is out of control and something has to be done. But, when you make criminals out of basically law abiding citizens something has to have gone wrong, somewhere.

    I'd appreciate your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Programming Team silver trophybronze trophy
    Mittineague's Avatar
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    Spam

    What is considered SPAM varies among people. Much like "I'm not too drunk to drive until I've had XX beers." or "Sure officer I was going a little over the speed limit, but I wasn't speeding.".

    One thing to be careful about is having forms that are vulnerable to header injection and can be used to send SPAM from your domain. True, the webmaster may not have sent the SPAM, but his inattention to security allowed it. Should he be punished? IMHO , yes, for a while. Lessons learned the hard way are well learned.

    Should someone inherit someone else's bad reputation? No.

    Quote Originally Posted by snowman2004
    The problem is that internet hobbyists with mailing lists, people trying their hand at internet marketing
    This is the crux of the problem. Some people don't understand the complexities of running a website and think just because they can put up a "shout out" or "fan" site on Geocities or AOL they're ready for the big time. With $$$ in their eyes they're like children trying to survive in an adult world. Reality can bite hard.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Member
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    Who is your registrar?

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot webfinity's Avatar
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    I'm very careful in the emails that I send out. If in doubt... Don't. There is too much SPAM floating around out there as it is. I'm glad you cleared your name.

  5. #5
    Non-Member MyDomAinZ.us's Avatar
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    SPAM can be handled very effectivelly if you just use some precautions and some typical setup of your website and account. We have stopped successfully all SPAM on our all websites email accounts and advice the same to everyone.

    We do not think registrar has something to do with SPAM or suspend an account. This is done by host.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
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    internet hobbyists with mailing lists, people trying their hand at internet marketing
    It's still spam. Not knowing the rules is not a valid excuse.

    Blacklisted domains are another story.

  7. #7
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    The law here defines ANY email you receive from anyone where you don't already have a relationship to be spam. So for you to send emails to people who are not prior customers where you can prove that you sold them something you need to use a double opt-in subscription so as to be able to prove that they asked for the emails to be sent. If only the rest of the world would implement similar spam laws and allow those laws to operate world-wide then perhaps something could be done about spam. Something particularly needs to be done about the major spam source countries such as the USA that actually have laws to encourage the sending of spam (such as defining any email with an unsubscribe link to not be spam - as if anyone would unsubscribe from something they didn't subscribe to in the first place and confirm to the spammer that their emails were being received).
    Stephen J Chapman

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  8. #8
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by plumsauce View Post
    It's still spam. Not knowing the rules is not a valid excuse.
    Spam according to whose rules, though? Felgall described how spam is defined
    in Australia or so, but the U.S. CAN-Spam Act has a differing definition that a
    lot of internet marketers I know are trying to comply with via confirmed optin.

    If there happens to be any applicable law on spam, the registrar that's within
    that law's jurisdiction is obligated to follow it. However, they can also decide
    on their own what constitutes spam and what doesn't.

  9. #9
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    I have been told that one service provider has defined any email that comes from a mail server that doesn't have reverse DNS lookup configured to be spam and so now many of the legitimate emails sent to accounts there are being rejected as spam.

    Until we can get consistent and effective rules on what spam is there will always be differences of opinion on whether a given email is or isn't spam.

    I receive lots of spam that I can't do anything about because the emails comply with the US act that defines that the email isn't spam if it contains an unsubscribe link. That link is of course useless as there is no way that I will click a link in a spam email and confirm my email address to a spammer. There is no way of telling whether they would comply with US law and remove me from their list or just send me millions of times as much spam for having confirmed that I actually got their first spam email.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast snowman2004's Avatar
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    The problem is that once you have been 'convicted' of spamming by your host or your domain name registration company, even once and even by one person, all sorts of bad things can happen including losing your domain name and having your hosting account closed.

    The point is that minor cases are frequently treated the same as cases involving large criminal spammers.

    Does the punishment fit the crime? - yes in most cases. But in the war against the spammers even those who have transgressed in the most minor way seem to be getting caught in the crossfire. In my case I owned a domain name that had been used by spammers before I owned it and it took a lot of my resources to clear my name.

  11. #11
    Non-Member MyDomAinZ.us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman2004 View Post
    The point is that minor cases are frequently treated the same as cases involving large criminal spammers.
    Mostly this depends upon host. We had one service provider previously, who was closing almost 70&#37; of my clients accounts veryday with out telling even us . Now we have a service provider who simply warns the clients and informs us in advance.


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