Industry News

Where Does Spam Come From?

Donny Pauling blogs:

My point, constant readers, is that while it’s true some unscrupulous porn bulk emailers do indeed disregard all consideration and send mail without regard, I don’t know of any legitimate porn companies that tolerate such practices. It’s just bad business, and as I’ve mentioned in previous blog entries, most pornographers treat their profession just as any good business person would do. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying it’s impossible that some major porn companies send spam. There are good people and bad people in every business.

So where does spam come from?

For the most part, spam comes from small operations. The biggest spammer I personally know operates all by himself, alone. We’ll call him “Dan”, because that’s the first name that popped into my head. I was a bit disappointed when I found out he was a spammer, because I really like Dan.

Because spam is frowned upon within the industry, unless you’re a trusted acquaintance you’d never know Dan “mails” (he doesn’t refer to what he does as spamming, he prefers the term “mailing”). I knew him several years before he finally revealed to me what he does. Is he an uncaring monster? Not at all. He’s very fun to be around, the life of the party. The man who makes everyone laugh.

Dan is also very lonely, but that’s beside the point.

There’s no way that Dan could ever know who is on the receiving end of his emails. It’s not that he “doesn’t care if you’re 9 or if you’re 90”, it’s just that it’s impossible to tell how old the person is on the receiving end of his mailings. If, for example, a person has agreed to “opt in” to a porn mailing list, there is no magical way for Dan to know whether or not the subscriber has lied about their age. Let’s also concede that Dan likely purchases mailing lists from someone who may have illegally harvested those email addresses online. That’s entirely possible, but Dan strongly prefers his email lists to be “clean” and from people who have “opted in” and agreed to have porn mailings sent to them.

Let’s think about this for a second: kids don’t have credit cards . They have no way of making a purchase. And if they steal their parents’ card, the charge will be reversed, which is very bad for adult business. The banks scrutinize the industry more than most other businesses. Charge reversals, also called “chargebacks”, are very bad. If an account exceeds a certain very-low percentage it is shut down. Chargebacks are to be avoided like the plague.

And, puh-leeze don’t give me the BS line that pornographers want to get kids hooked on porn so that they’ll eventually become a customer when they actually CAN make a purchase. Wanna know why that line of thinking is crap? Because nature takes care of that on its own . Porn’s appeal is built in to the majority of the human population. We’re sexual creatures.

I hate spam. I wish it didn’t exist. I’d be very happy to see it legislated away. See, I’m all for free speech and allowing people to do as they pleased, but I don’t see spam as “free speech”. I see it as someone contacting me without my permission. It infringes on MY rights. I didn’t seek it out.

Still, my constant readers, the point I want to make with all of this is that people in the porn world are no different than you and I. Neither are spammers. They’re not ogres. If we wish to change hearts we must realize that. It’s way too easy to paint “those people” as monsters. I guess that’s human nature as well. It’s simply not true, though. Those people are… just people.

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