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Spam? Not Spam?

Confusion on some Yahoo Groups (Not CHAD!) as to what constitutes Spam.

Spam in Groups would be something like this.

I have a new Group and I join another Group. I immediately post a message making it sound like you should join. (On CHAD, these posts are deleted by the owner/moderators and the new member is removed and banned, but some Groups are not moderated.) Not allowed, read the CHAD's home page!

Sometimes a spammer will join a group, post a spam message and immediately leave the group. I call these 'Seagull Spammers'.

I have a website that I want to get more traffic. I immediately send a post making it sound like you really need this!

I may be selling something I want you to buy. (This is usually the case.) The link provided will take you to the website offering the product. I will make a commission from the sale if you buy the product from the link. This is definitely SPAM. (Same thing happens, these posts are deleted by the owner/moderators and the new member is removed and banned.)

These are the most obvious spam posts. There are others as well.

Sometimes a member will join an online service that allows them to 'request others to join them'. One such website is reunion.com. So the member un-wittingly adds all of the email addresses in their address book and then everyone gets an 'invitation' to join. This is SPAM! Most of the recipients of this invitation will just be annoyed and delete the request.

A savvy computer user would never add other people's addresses to an online website.  Who knows what that service might do with all those email addresses.

What Isn't Spam

Members may post questions about a certain site. While it may have been worded so it could look like spam, it could very well be just a member seeking clarification, information or 'Is this a good site?'. (The owners/moderators check to see how long this member has been a member if they don't recognize the poster. Sometimes the message may be rejected with a request to re-word the post.)

Members may post links for sites that contain useful information in order to solve a problem. There may be 'offers' on the site, but there is helpful information as well. Many posts containing external links are in this category. Obviously, these posts are not spam.

Everyone recognizes a Spam post that has an obvious message 'I want to sell you something'. Or is it really spam? Maybe not. A lot of folks receive offers in email from companies with a business connection, i.e., merchandize has been purchased from that company.

Recently I received an email from CA, offering a pretty sweet deal on security products for computers. At one time I had CA's Internet Security Suite on one of my computers. They still send me offers occasionally. This particular offer included a rebate, and if you have read my blog, you know how I feel about rebates! (The offer is no longer available.)

I thought about posting it to CHAD, but I accidentally deleted it. Someone else posted it on another Group. Was this spam? No, it wasn't spam, because the poster did not benefit any way if someone decided to buy from the offer. It was posted because the poster thought it might benefit other members.

If a member believes another member is 'spamming the group' a good policy would be to ask the owner/moderators for a clarification. It is possible something might slip through, but before another member is embarrassed by being accused of being a spammer, find out for sure!

One last thought, before advertising your new Group, it is only polite to ask the owners for permission first. Chances are the request will be granted, but if you don't ask, you could get removed!