When Terminology Attacks

I was reading a mailing list today, as I often do. Some random guy, nobody I know, he posted a request for help. He said, more or less: "Hey, blacklist XYZ has listed my double opt-in server. What should I do?"

Approximately 13 seconds after posting, he was verbally attacked in response. He was accused of being a spammer, and ridiculed, for daring to use such a term as "double opt-in."

That's what actually happened. What could have happened instead is that they could have congratulated him, or at least made mention of how good it was, that he is actually utilizing confirmed opt-in.

Instead, a discussion forum made up of supposed thought leaders, people who actively work to stop spam, accused the guy of being a spammer. They didn't accuse him of being a spammer because he sends spam -- but instead, they called him a spammer because he used a term that they do not like.

What's wrong with this picture?



  2. Happy birthday!

    I share your frustration, but the thing is, "double opt-in" has become a shibboleth.

  3. Problem is, even the smartest deliverability consultants have been using the term for years. It's locked in, like "ham" for non-spam mail -- and the people who use it have probably never even thought about what a grave misunderstanding "double" actually implies.

  4. J.D., I suppose, but the way you frame it makes it sound like the deliverability consultants (whom I know you dislike as a breed) are the problem, when they're not. The problem is morons treating the term as a shibboleth, to the point of not caring about actual spam and instead caring more about terminology of supposed (actual "not") spammers.

  5. JD may well dislike Deliverability Consultants as a breed, but as proof that there is a god and it has a twisted sense of humour, Mr. Falk is made to sit amidst a large flock of them, daily (well, Monday-to-Friday). No word as yet if they follow him into the men's room to dicuss 'issues'.


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