Friday, September 15, 2006

Why does Cornell University keep spamming me?

The e-mail address attached to this blog gets a lot of spam, as is true for pretty much any e-mail address that appears on any web page. What perplexes me, though, is one particularly recalcitrant spammer: Cornell University. Their alumni affairs department sends me notices of upcoming events, despite the fact that I have never attended Cornell, and in fact have never even set foot on their campus. When I was 13, I had a rather serious case of hero worship for astrophysicist Carl "Billions and Billions" Sagan, but that's about as close as I've ever been to Cornell.

When I first got an e-mail from Cornell, I sent a polite note back asking to be removed from their mailing list. When I continued receiving spam from them, I escalated my complaint to the university's computer services department. The spam stopped for a while, but today I got another spam from Cornell.

I have never requested e-mail of any kind from Cornell. My only contact with them has been to ask them to stop sending me unwanted e-mails.

Why does Cornell insist on spamming me?

If anyone from Cornell is reading this, the magic words are "closed-loop confirmed opt-in." Don't run an e-mail list without it.

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