Self-editing is overrated. Or is it?

Friday, February 03, 2006

Well, it was good while it lasted.

The New York Times is reporting that America Online and Yahoo, two of the world's largest providers of e-mail accounts, are about to start using a controversial system that gives preferential treatment to messages from companies that pay from 1/4 of a cent to a penny each to have them delivered. The senders must contact only people who have agreed to receive their messages, or risk being blocked entirely.

AOL and Yahoo will still accept e-mail from senders who have not paid, but the paid messages will be given special treatment. On AOL, for example, they will go straight to users' main mailboxes, and will not have to pass the gauntlet of spam filters that could divert them to a special bulk e-mail box or strip them of images and Web links.

As of now, this would only be available to large corporations, but it's only a matter of time before they begin charging individuals and making as much money as they can off of this idea. On the one hand, it's nice to see that somebody is trying to break the cycle of spam out there, but on the other hand, it fails to take into account that what spawned the proliferation of email in the first place was that it's free.

I guess simply enforcing spam laws is too tough for the government who somehow has no trouble listening in to millions of phone calls.

Once again, it's all about the money.


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