July 7, 2009

The Spammer In Chief

I get kind of a lot of spam. I have a few email accounts, all with different purposes, and websites I host with those various addresses so I guess I'm a pretty bug target. I haven't dumped my span for a little while and I'm up to 17,628 messages. Why not dump them? Because I love reading them. The subject lines, anyway.

The latest trend in spam seems to be obscuring the message with spaces and extra letters. Like Zhungry girl gets fu cking dog co ck in taut aassp. Sure can't crack that code. Then there are the ones that only vaguely make sense. Support Your Darling Night Experience or Boost Your Sweet Bedtimes. Interesting euphemisms. And then there are those that are just plain nonsensical. Brooklyn Gives Andy Head. Andy must have added some inchez to his co ckz if it takes an entire borough to service him. There are also the totally unappealing. Hugest Asses! I mean, I admire their straightforwardness but I was just at the beach. I saw the hugest asses covered by the smallest bikinis. I think I'm set for a while. Some just play on the most basic of human emotions. Call me, I'm in danger or Make a call I'm in trouble.

There exists no moral ambiguity around the deletion of spam such as these. After I've gotten a few good laughs. But I kepe getting messages that exist in some sort of spam purgatory, if you will. Email from President Obama.

Technically, its not spam. When Obama was campaigning, I signed up to be on his mailing list. I ordered stuff from his website. I made donations. I asked to be included in his database. But now that he's won - and doing a fine job without necessitating the sale of t-shirts of soliciting donations from little old me - I'm pretty tuned out to his email. But I feel bad just deleting the messages. I mean, should you really delete unread email from the President of the United States? Something doesn't feel quite right about that. Like not drinking beer on the Fourth of July or peeing on the flag.

I have a few options:

A. Delete, don't feel guilty.
B. Delete and feel guilty about it because, good god, it's email from the President.
C. Read it.
D. Ignore it. Hope it goes away.

What would you do?

Posted by Chris at July 7, 2009 6:53 AM

I'm sure I receive the same emails you do and probably many more (from my Senators, Congressman, and every Progressive cause in the country).

I open them, glance through for any surprises, then delete. No guilt - I'm sure he never reads mine.

Most of them want money.

Posted by: Ann Adams at July 7, 2009 7:15 AM

I read some of the spam, but from the Pres. At this point, delete it. Sheesh, didn't he get elected? Must have a lot of leftover t-shirts to sell!

Posted by: Maribeth at July 7, 2009 7:43 AM

If I were lucky enough to be living in the particular time and place where Obama was my president, I would gratefully read every email and follow any and all instructions contained within to the best of my abilities. And did I mention I'd be grateful?

Posted by: Jo MacD at July 7, 2009 7:45 AM

i don't delete them (i get the same emails) but I don't read them either. i figure, we got him elected and that's enough now i'm going back to my frivolous living and worrying about important things like remembering to buy moroccan oil for my hair because i'm running out.

Posted by: la petite belle at July 7, 2009 7:59 AM

I absolutely did not sign up anywhere for anything Obama related, not even whilst sleepwalking, yet I get Obama email. I pick option D, because I am a chicken that way. I mean, who unsubscribes from the President?

Posted by: Theresa at July 7, 2009 8:08 AM

I went a step further than deleting all the post presidential e-mails...I unsubscribed from the lists!I know, shocking, but it was becoming spam like and I wasn't reading any of them anyway...

Posted by: Lisa at July 7, 2009 8:09 AM

That's too funny. I have thought the same thing. I signed up and yes, have gotten tons of emails from everyone on his campaign. I delete.

Posted by: Debbie at July 7, 2009 8:10 AM

I have the same dilemma. And I also feel guilty. However, I look at it this way: I'm pretty sure The Big O doesn't write his emails, and since some staffer did, I don't have to feel guilty about deleting them.

I do like Ann Adams' suggestion, though. Open, quickly scan, then hit delete. I think that action will depend on how many emails I must wade through at the time, and how much time I have on hand at that moment.

Posted by: ironic1 at July 7, 2009 8:13 AM

I scan it to see what's up this time, then toss it. To be honest, I'm happy enough that he's using all these different channels to reach people that I'm not ready to complain yet.

Posted by: Hannah at July 7, 2009 8:27 AM

I'd probably skim them :) I still have the prez on Twitter...but I don't feel all that guilty about not paying too much attention, since he's not MY president, and all ;)

Posted by: Heather at July 7, 2009 9:03 AM

I have a bunch of unread presidential e-mails just waiting for the answer to this question.

Posted by: caleal at July 7, 2009 9:20 AM

Delete without guilt. I do. I think I still get stuff from John Kerry how many years later??? ACK.

I voted. Obama is president. I still support him. Watch Coutler on Fox last night while channel surfing and hope that she never gets it in her head to become a politican. Scary shit. Glad Obama is president. Nuff said!

Posted by: Christina at July 7, 2009 9:25 AM

I'm on his list for the same reasons. I choose option A and just don't worry about it. If Rush Limbaugh becomes the Republican candidate in 2012, then I'll definitely NOT delete those emails then.

Posted by: Heather at July 7, 2009 9:33 AM

Obama didn't write the email, Obama won't be aware of the content of the emails and most likely Obama doesn't care about if people read 'his' email.
It's all done by his publicity people. Sure, it looks good and modern for him to be emailing his citizens but he really doesn't have the time for that. It was all a ploy to win him over to America, it worked and he doesn't need it anymore. This all seems obvious to me, so is it an American thing to be fooled by this type of publicity?

Posted by: Ray at July 7, 2009 9:50 AM

Delete - no guilt. Does he read your email?

Posted by: Kris at July 7, 2009 10:33 AM

And I thought it was just me. I have so far chosen D. At some point I will probably go unsubscribe, but that seems like a lot of work. So really, I'll probably just set my spam filter to send them to trash and skip my inbox. I think that still falls under D though since I'm not actually deleting them.

Posted by: Steph at July 7, 2009 11:19 AM

I delete them. I feel a bit guilty, but I'd go have a beer with the President to make up for it if he needed me to!

Posted by: Stephanie at July 7, 2009 11:41 AM

I get the same emails from Obama I think...because I did it all too (tshirts, donations, etc etc) and *gasp* I dont think I have read ONE since he won...Bad American? Not so much, but I think we are pretty up to date with other media frenzy updates on his life, endeavors and plans rather than reading it on the computer. Yes? Probably.

Posted by: CHERYL at July 7, 2009 1:27 PM

Delete it and don't feel guilty. He certainly didn't send the email; prob doesnt even know it went out. Obama's got *staff*, dude.

And I don't mean that in a spam-headline-mindset sort of way. ;)

Posted by: jessica at July 7, 2009 3:00 PM

Skim over it quickly (i.e., give it the 10-second stare) and move on unless there's something interesting looking in it. Then, you know, read the interesting stuff.

Posted by: Dawn at July 7, 2009 4:58 PM

For emails from Obama, base your decision on the subject:
Group A: status updates, then delete and away you go ( not your job to worry about these things; he's in the drivers seat now and we'll check back in 3.5 years from now ).

Group B: Ones that say "Call me, I'm in danger": read those, take action.

Group C: Ones that say "Zhungry girl gets fu cking dog co ck in taut aassp", signal it's time to move to Mexico.


Posted by: metawizard at July 7, 2009 5:28 PM

Ummmm... can you ask to be taken off the mailing list? (You can put yourself back on for the next campaign.)

As for spam, I am getting far too much of it. None from Obama though. Lots of people who have a massive inheritance to share with me, if I just send them a few thousand euros.

Posted by: Nat at July 7, 2009 8:13 PM

I say - UNSUBSCRIBE => no more e-mails & no more guilt!

Posted by: Nadia at July 7, 2009 8:42 PM

I totally do not recomment hitting 'unsubscribe' on spam. That just confirms to the spammer that a) you're a legit email address and more importantly b) you're incredibly naive. That should double your amount of spam. I say try for a personal best, and see just how much you can accumulate!

Posted by: coolchick at July 7, 2009 8:53 PM

I delete them with no guilt. You know why? It's not really *him* emailing me. I think. Oh no, now I feel guilty!

Posted by: jessica fantastica at July 8, 2009 12:59 AM

Personally, I delete mail from President Obama. But I feel guilty about it. Cause it has all sorts of cool spy missions included, but I really never have the time for them, you know?

Posted by: Aimee Greeblemonkey at July 8, 2009 7:25 PM