You, Email Lists, and Scammers
This isn’t meant to be a long post, and it’s something I’ve shared on various social media before, but I consider it very important, so I want it to be available here on the ZOG Blog (the part of the site where I give updates on projects, as well do reviews, and just talk about whatever I feel like talking about at times).
On my show Sovryn Tech, I’ve often complained about the very “scammy”, privacy-intruding, and even security-breaking way that many websites and web services advertise or do business. For those that don’t know, I’m an anarchist, and even within those liberty-oriented circles a lot of this kind of advertising and various money-making schemes (as in, they don’t produce genuine value in comparison to what they get from you) are commonplace, and seem to get even more so by the day.
And it’s not even just the advertising, but the nonsensical stories with various numbered lists, or some waste-of-time article with a click bait headline, or even some kind of gloom and doom video are all supposedly given away “for free”.
But please remember that when a website or service–liberty-oriented or not–asks for your email address to get some kind of “free content”, and there is no explicit statement that they will NOT give or sell your email address to third-parties…you are being used by that person or group to create an email list that they can then sell off to spam companies at best, or who knows what at worst.
So here’s a tip, never put in an important email address without that aforementioned guarantee (and even then, it’s questionable). Often people will make sensationalist claims (perhaps some kind of gloom and doom “porn” ridiculousness) and give you information about it “at no cost to you, just give us your email address”. But in reality it’s all done to line their own pockets by selling off your email address and/or information. Or maybe its to get you to create “impressions” on the annoying advertisements on their website. Whichever it is, you’re being used and you’re likely not getting any pay off for it (at least certainly not the kind of payoff that they get from advertisers and email list collection companies). Don’t fall for it, and don’t give those people the market signal that their bullshit works on you.
And as a side note, also remember that conventional notions of “success” are no guarantee of virtue. Just because someone (appears to) have made it in life, that doesn’t mean that they’re “doing things right”.
At zog.ninja I go out of my way to illustrate that I am not interested in scamming you, or in sneakily getting something from you that I can sell off elsewhere. I’m only interested in value for value. I sell products or offer things (genuinely for free, like Sovryn Tech or the Dark Android Project) that if you find value in, there are ways in which you can share that value that don’t infringe upon your human liberties, security, privacy, or personhood. Nothing more. I don’t want your email address. I don’t want to trick you onto my website. I want to connect with you, share my creations with you, perhaps enrich you as many others on the internet and in real life have enriched me, and enjoy the arena of ideas and personal freedom with you.