Mistakes were made

New York City meets Munich

Registering displeasure

October 23rd, 2002 · No Comments · Uncategorized

In spite of my occasional frothing at the mouth here, I’m actually a patient man. Hyperbole is useful for comic effect. I am not a rapid lunatic, honest. Still, spam does burn my ass. Lately, my personal pet peeve are web sites that spam me because of sloppy engineering on their part.

Let me explain.

I’ll admit perhaps it was poor judgment to pick “” as a domain. It seemed like an amusing, ambiguous web moniker at the time. If I had spent a few more calories thinking about it, it might have occurred to me that I was choosing the “John Doe” of domain names. Because when people want to give a fake email address, they frequently use “”

I’ve long since set up my email server to put anything sent to “noone”, “nobody” and “none” to my Safe-T-Sure mailbox. But people are creative. When confronted with a web site that demands an email address for an account, they come up with all sorts of interesting things to put in front of my domain. And I then get their confirmation emails, sometimes even with their passwords. When that happens, sometimes hilarity ensues. After all, if I get an email with account details, it’s my account! And I can delete my account if I want to.

Usually what I get, though, are newsletters and promotions and all sorts of other crap. Exactly the kind of junk that makes people want to use a fake email in the first place. Some of these sites are better than others in getting off their lists. That helps. A bit. But I’m fed up with it. I shouldn’t have to log on and set some email preferences for an account I didn’t make.

It boils down to this: if you build a web site where you require people to register with an email address, you must confirm the address before you send any additional emails beyond the confirmation. Assume all email addresses are bogus until proven otherwise.

I do not mind getting email from web sites like this


Thanks for joining our incontinence support group web community. To complete your registration, simply click on the link at the end of this email, or just reply to this email.

If you are receiving this email, and you did not sign up at our web site, we apologize. You do not need to do anything, and this will be the last email you get from us.

Believe it or not, I do get emails like this from better engineered sites. Sadly, they are in the minority.

So, my tolerance is gone. When I get email from web sites that assume everyone registers with valid email addresses that belong to them, I report them to SpamCop, as well as sending the report to the site with the reason why. Any automated process that sends out email must be built with a sense of responsibility, and people who don’t take that responsibility seriously need to have their feet held to the flames until they change their ways.

In the meantime, if you need to make up a fake email address, make sure you use a top level domain that doesn’t exist. “nowhere@fake.domain” is good. Or use “”. I’m sure all that email is deleted anyway.

No Comments so far ↓

Like gas stations in rural Texas after 10 pm, comments are closed.