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If you comment on someone's blog, and need to give an e-mail address to do so, is it acceptable for them to subscribe you to their mailing list? (No notice is given of such automatic subscription in the comment area.)

I don't think it's acceptable. I'm not all that angry about it, but I'm minorly ticked and trying to decide whether to complain.

Update I did complain. The blogger responded that my winding up on zir mailing list was unintentional.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 30th, 2005 05:27 am (UTC)
i don't think so
Jun. 30th, 2005 05:27 am (UTC)
unless there were odd circumstances that made it ok, i would complain...
Jun. 30th, 2005 05:28 am (UTC)
I certainly wouldn't expect that to happen if I commented.
Jun. 30th, 2005 05:34 am (UTC)
I don't think that's acceptable either. My own preference would be to be given a choice to opt-in or not, and at the very least there should be a notification that your address will be added to a mailing list before you comment.
Jun. 30th, 2005 05:36 am (UTC)
Jun. 30th, 2005 05:46 am (UTC)
Given the circumstances you describe, I'd definitely complain. There should be a notice and an opt-out clicky-box at the very least. Ideally, it should be an opt-in clicky-box, but we haven't yet managed to beat that idea into the Internet marketing culture.
Jun. 30th, 2005 05:47 am (UTC)
It's not a matter of blogiiquette; rather, it's a fundamental rule of how to run a mailing list. If you add anyone's adress without them specifically having asked to be added to that particular mailinglist, you are spamming. Simple as that.

Now I'm sure everyone can come up with a possible scenario or two in which this rule is too strict - for instance, when you're adding your mother to your list of people to invite to your handfasting or something. But in all those cases I've seen brought up, you know the person in question well enough to be allowed to do this. In any other case, where you don't know the person well enough to be aware of their wishes, or you haven't had their express permission, the above rule stands.

This does not mean that every mailing list owner who acts in the way Firecat describes should be reported as a spammer and have their ISP account cancelled - but they should be made aware that what they're doing is against all mailing list etiquette, and most probably against the AUP they signed when they got their ISP account.
Jun. 30th, 2005 06:30 am (UTC)
Well stated. And especially if you're running any kind of business, you REALLY want to stay inside the lines -- because if you don't, then it becomes Unsolicited Commercial E-mail (UCE) and you'd be amazed how much legal trouble you can be in. Sure, the so-called "CAN-SPAM" law has a double meaning, but if you haven't done your research, you're not likely to know where the loopholes are.

I don't know exactly where bloggers would fall in this, it's sort of a grey area. But at the most basic level, it's just good manners and common sense to let people make their own decisions about whether or not to be on your mailing list.
Jun. 30th, 2005 05:50 am (UTC)
Last I checked, a comment in a blog != an opt-in for a mailing list.

And I've looked at hundreds of blogs in the last week, which I reckon makes me an Official Authority on 'em. ::decisive nod::
Jun. 30th, 2005 06:04 am (UTC)
Well, if it was a Famous Person's blog, and the message was short, with clear unsubscribe instructions, then I would not feel it was appropriate to send rabid gerbils to strip all the skin from their feet and ankles.

(Note: "It wouldn't be appropriate to send rabid gerbils to strip all skin from their feet and ankles" does *not* mean "it's okay". It just means... well, never mind.)

But even if it *was* a Famous Person's blog, no, it wasn't right.

I figure the e-mail address is so a person can respond if they feel a need to do so. It's not a "I love you and want whatever mail you want to send me."
Jun. 30th, 2005 06:11 am (UTC)
I don't think it's ever acceptable to subscribe anyone to anything without their expressed permission. (And I spend a good deal of time explaining this to my boss, who keeps wanting me to subscribe groups of people en masse to our e-mail lists without even asking them if it's OK...)
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 30th, 2005 02:18 pm (UTC)
They're not the only ones. There are countless "do-gooder" organizations out there that seem to think their Good Work is more important than my right to say "yes, I want to be on your mailing list" or "no, thanks."

I've noticed that university-based science organizations are particularly bad about this. My guess is that they see it as analagous to postal bulk mail - if they have our e-mail addresses, they see no reason not to use them. Evidently nobody has ever sat them down and explained how this kind of spam transfers the cost of advertising to the recipient and his/her mail host.
Jun. 30th, 2005 06:29 am (UTC)
Unacceptable, definitely.
Jun. 30th, 2005 06:32 am (UTC)
Re: blogiquette
nope, not acceptable. i am a firm advocate for explicit opt-in.
Jun. 30th, 2005 06:33 am (UTC)
I don't think it's acceptable. I'm glad you complained. Did the blogger say they would take you _off_ zir mailing list? (Assuming you want off, that is.)
Jun. 30th, 2005 12:01 pm (UTC)
I'd be surprised and a little annoyed. Like you I'd probably send a polite complaint.

Or, since I'm also kind of lazy, I might just keep hitting delete when I saw the stuff in my mailbox if it was easy to identify without opening.
Jun. 30th, 2005 06:14 pm (UTC)
UNINTENTIONAL??? That's bullshit. Someone either manually added your address to that list, or wrote/implemented a script which does so automatically. This person has just downgraded themselves from "clueless" to "lying scum".
Jul. 1st, 2005 03:54 pm (UTC)
It strikes me as possible that they are using weblogging software that has this "feature" built in, either as a default or as something that is not difficult to turn on accidentally.
Jun. 30th, 2005 07:31 pm (UTC)
This just happened to me! I posted a comment on Susie Bright's web log and then I got her newsletter. It was no big deal to unsubscribe, but I was annoyed.

To me it's just annoying egotism. You must want to hear more about ME!
Jul. 1st, 2005 04:42 pm (UTC)
Interesting - Susie Bright is the blogger I'm complaining about.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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