February 09, 2010

One Particular Spammer

Most spam is anonymous. Few of us ever have contact with a real spammer. Most of them are smart enough to conceal their identity. They know that if people knew who they were, they would be ostracized by their peers.

I learned about Ron's spam pretty quickly. People were concerned that maybe the Steel Guitar Forum's database of email addresses had been compromised. It hasn't - Ron got his addresses from other sites on the web. I don't understand, though, the mindset of a guy who thinks that it's okay to to spam people, that it's a legitimate way to do business. Considering that the legality of his product, a CD of karaoke tracks, is on shaky ground at best, you'd think that he'd use an identity that couldn't be so easily fingered. But no, the "from" line of the gmail account proudly shows his name, and his wife's.

This brings me to a crisis of conscience. I don't reply to spammers, but I have been engaged in open discussions with Ron about various topics in the Off Topic Forum. Frankly, he seems to be the main driving force there. There are only a handful of other participants.

When someone talks a lot in a room of five or six people, it magnifies his opinions and position. Giving this spammer a soapbox to stand on didn't feel right to me, nor did it make sense for me to engage him any further. So, after 10 years of operation, I have shut down the Off Topic Forum. I figure that the half-dozen users that remained can get along without it.

I hate spam. I don't reply to emails from spammers. I'm not going to make an exception for one just because he's a steel player from Greensburg.