Jim's Message Board
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Re: Good Grief!
From Jim on 05 August '98
adding to Re: Good Grief! posted by David Jacobs


>No, they are saying that if my own enemy chose to bomb me
>with the script, the fault would be on the script writer.

That would be me then, Jim Rhodes (author of the script),
not the webmaster...

>This is ridiculous, but with the zero tolerance that
>exists today, I'm skeptical that ISP's and others would
>fully take the time to investigate the matter before
>taking action. They would blame the one who sent the
>email--that is, the one who's return address appears on
>it.

So, that would be the name and email address of the "spammer"
(if they gave one) Again, not the webmaster. The webmaster's
email address does not appear anywhere in the email headers.

WHY IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN:

You've received spam before, right? Who hasn't? Well, think back...
Out of all the spam you've ever received, how many of them
were sent to you for the specific purpose of annoying you,
personally? Sure, that was the result, but not the purpose.
Spam is sent in the misguided attempt to promote the sender's
website, product, or whatever. Why would anybody send spam
promoting SOMEBODY ELSE'S site?

If somebody wants to annoy you by mailbombing you anonymously,
there are much easier and more effective ways of doing it.
Somebody would have to be seriously lacking in the brain
department to use Refer Me to get revenge on an enemy.

EVEN IF IT DOES HAPPEN:

OK, for the sake of argument, let's say somebody uses the Refer
Me form on your site to mailbomb somebody they don't like,
and the recipient complains. Who will they complain to,
presuming the sender used a non-existent email address?
They would complain to you, the webmaster, because your
URL is in the messages they received. In this case, all you
need to do is explain to this person that you didn't send
the email. Show them the form and say:

"I'm sorry you've been inconvenienced, but I didn't send you
these emails. Somebody who doesn't like you used my legitimate
form to send you these messages, I'm sure you have a good
idea who your own enemies are, I suggest you look closer to
home to find the culprit."

Now let's get even more ridiculous... Let's say that the
recipient doesn't like the above answer, and spends
considerable time and effort hunting down your hosting
service, and complains to them. You are the customer of
your hosting service, do you think they're going to charge
you $25 out of the blue without asking you your side of the
story? If so, you need to find another hosting service.
Your side of the story would completely exonerate you:

"Dear hosting service, I didn't send unsolicited email to
the complainant. A third party sent referral messages, using
my form, to this person, specifically to annoy them. I'm
caught up in somebody else's squabble. Even so, my form has
not been used to broacast large numbers of unsolicited
promotional messages, you will find that the complainant is
the only person who has been affected in this way."


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