SPAM : It should be opt in, not opt out

Cyprus Mail reports that environmental commissioner turned his attention towards piles of SPAM – advertising leaflets distributed by numerous companies to people’s house, mailboxes, and cars.  The initiative to regulate this is very welcome.  However:

Theopemptou insists that a law should be passed to regulate leaflet distribution in streets, cars and post boxes in order to protect the public and prevent the pile-up of waste. One possible measure he recommended was the creation of a special stamp that people could put on their cars, which would indicate that they do not wish to receive advertising material.

I think that SPAM should be opt in, not opt out.  In other words, it’s the people who WISH to receive the advertising leaflets should indicate that they want to, not the other way around.  You can see how well it works in email vs. RSS and Twitter.  In emails, people just send you loads of junk with an option to unsubscribe from it.  First of all, you already received the junk. Secondly, you need to receive the junk to get an option to unsubscribe.  That’s just not fair.   It doesn’t work.  Opt out.  In RSS and Twitter it’s the opt in.  You don’t get anything until you actually subscribe or follow.  Which is all up to you.  And that’s how it should be.

4 thoughts on “SPAM : It should be opt in, not opt out”

  1. this is how it works in Nederlands: we have a standard sticker on the post box that sais no spam. there is still 3% of spam but is a big diffrence.

  2. Well, why would I need to spoil my mailbox with a sticker? It should be the other guy, who actually wants to receive it – he should put the “Please SPAM me!” sticker on his mailbox.

    I think these people have it backward. :)

  3. Very interesting approach!
    My effort was to turn the attention of the minister on this issue. My role is advisory, I made a brief suggestion of what this law should include.
    When this gets done and is sent to parliament the MPs will actually take over and it is anybodies guess of how this will turn out.
    One thing I am absolutely sure is that we NEED to regulate it!

  4. C. Theopemptou,

    Agreed indeed! The regulation is much needed. The problem is not that much the annoyance of all those leaflets, but the waste that goes into printing and distributing them. They also affect the clean look of the city – leaflets fall out of the mailboxes, people dump them on the streets, etc.

    Thanks for the initiative.

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