The Polite Spammer

You seldom get a reply from SPAM.  Today, I met a spammer.  He actually apologized.

Background:  I got a regular SPAM email about the .WS domains.  Nothing special, but I viewed the web site anyway, and it tracked me.  Shortly after, I got a folow up email.  Note the traditional poor spelling that for some reason, seems to be normal among those who SPAM.

Hi Jeff,
I just noticed that you are interesed in “Domain Names Newsletters”, so I thought to send you this invitation just in case you might need a domain name for your business.
If my thoughts are not right, I abologize to you for sending this invitation, and if you no longer wish to receive messages from me, just go to the end of the message and click on the hyper link and you will be removed directly from my data base.
I hope to hear from you soon.
Warm regards,
Mohamed Salah Fahmy

So I replied…

Jeff Goebel wrote: That does seem like a standard multi-level marketing plan, and I did notice that you were a spammer, rather than a friend. I was curious as to how this wasn’t the same kind of illegal scam as pyramids, but I guess the product is a valid one, so that’s how they avoid it.
I would like you to know that I did in fact sign up, but intentionally did so from a fresh link that did not give you credit for spamming me. I do not support ANY business that sends unsolicited email to me. I am trying (in my small way) to make the world a better place… and not giving you credit for a new evil that is actually participating in the destruction of the Internet is my way.  SPAM will kill the Internet.
I have clients and friends who have given up on the Internet, simply because their email gets a few hundred useless messages a day. While you may not think yours is useless… I can assure you most people will. It is SPAM, and worse, multi-level pyramid marketing spam.
Sadly, I doubt my reply will be read by a human. That’s kind of my point.

At 3/23/2005, you wrote:
I really respect your thoughts and feelings about these kind of messages.
Jeff, I’m very sorry for sending you my E-mail, it will not happen again, be sure of that. This Email was send to you from the automated system of the company not from my E-mail box, so as I told you, remove yourself now to avoid receiving messages again.
In fact, I’m not a SPAMMER , I’m an honest man who has his morals and good believes. I think that the MLM System (which I’m new in it) has its defects, I’m just following the company instructions and I’m now in the phase of evaluating this system trying to discover it (I might decide not to continue if I discover that I’ll be accused by spaming).
Of course Jeff I’m a real humanbeing, and I will be honored to be your friend.
I thank you for your Email to me, It was like an ALARM, and I’ll consider it in the future.

That was a very respectful reply. I thank you. I honestly didn’t know what to expect from a reply. In a world where everybody is out to make money, and some seem to not care who they offend, I am pleased some people care.
Multi-Level marketing is a tricky business, and much of the modern world is afraid of it… or at least start out with suspicion. I am sometimes nasty with my replies for entertainment value as much as real value (or shock value). I like to see how evil business people justify their actions. There are few things more fun to me that watching evil explain why THEIR brand of evil isn’t really evil.
You did well. You did right. You show me that you’re just a guy who got the same email I got, from somebody else. You thought either “why not” or “hey, this sounds like a no-lose deal.” Indeed, the idea of a .WS domain is one that you can convince people of. I wish you success with your other levels.
By the way… I didn’t really sign up and not give you credit. That part was fictional, just to increase the value of my initial message. I actually own my own hosting company and DNS server. The offerings of a foreign country domain like WS are of zero interest to me.
Nice to textually meet you sir.