Spammers cry about freedom of speech and point fingers at anti-spammers, whining that we are a small group of anti-commercial fanatics who wish to impose censorship on the poor small businessman just trying to make a living. What they don’t seem to understand is that their right to swing their fists ends before our noses begin. Every American has the right to speak up and express his own views without interference from the government (which is literally what freedom of speech is all about – the right to speak out against the government without the threat of being shipped to Siberia). However, NOBODY has the right to barge into my living room to give a shpiel on a vacuum cleaner without my invitation. One may also be prohibited from making a speech about fertilizer in a business meeting scheduled to discuss the company’s new personnel policy. And just try to yell Fire in a crowded movie theatre and see where your whining about freedom of speech gets you.
Censorship? Hardly. Let’s look at a highly controversial example – pornography. Granted, there are groups who would like to see porn banned from the internet. This certainly would be censorship, and is not in the least a part of any agenda item in the anti-spam movement. There are plenty of anti-spammers who enjoy pornography, as well as those of us who wouldn’t touch the stuff with a ten-foot pole. But as long as the advertisements are not sent UNSOLICITED into our e-mail, we could care less. This is not about censorship – it’s about protection of our private property, and OUR FREEDOM of choosing what we want to receive. As noted before, it doesn’t matter if it’s an invitation to a porn site or a Bible study class – if it’s unsolicited, THAT MEANS WE DON’T WANT IT!
As for being a small group of fanatics, there is plenty of proof to the contrary. Ask any ISP with a past record of even one spamming incident how many abuse reports they received. Surveys have shown that over 70% of all internet users do NOT want to receive spam. In my opinion, most of the other 30% are people who haven’t been online long enough to get any, and the rest are spammers themselves.