AOL, Yahoo introduce "pay to spam" service.
Okay, so that's not exactly what they call it, but really, what else are we supposed to read into this announcement?
New Service Would Charge E-mail Senders
[Note, that's Yahoo's web site, so it might be a teensy-bit biased on the story.]
Here's a quote:
"[Yahoo and AOL] plan to introduce a service that would charge senders a fee to route their e-mail directly to a user's mailbox without first passing through junk mail filters"
Uh, yeah, that sounds like "sell access to their users' inboxes to spammers", in any other language.
How much is your spam-free inbox worth?
"The fees, which would range from 1/4 cent to 1 cent per e-mail" - kinda cheap, compared to junk snail mail.
Maybe they could spin the service a little more for us? Yes, the sentence continues: "are the latest attempts by the companies to weed out unsolicited ads, commonly called spam, and identity-theft scams. In exchange for paying, e-mail senders will be guaranteed their messages won't be filtered and will bear a seal alerting recipients they're legitimate."
Let me get this straight... if I'm one of your customers, you're going to sell access to my inbox, to anyone who has my address, allowing them to bypass the spam filters that would normally have kept them out of it, and this is to "weed out ... spam"?
How exactly does that work?
Sounds crazy to me.
Thank goodness I control my own spam filters, and I'm not a customer of either Yahoo's or AOL's.
A final quote from the article:
"AOL and Yahoo would get a cut of the fees charged by Goodmail."
So, that's alright, then.
Update: The BBC's news web site has an article at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4684942.stm that suggests that this will reduce spam by making it too expensive to spam. If the filters currently in place aren't already stopping spam, how will this change? And if I'm a bona-fide company whose legitimate mail to willing recipients gets caught in Yahoo / AOL's spam filters, do I have to pay to get my mail to my customers? Where's the incentive for AOL / Yahoo to make their spam filters accurate, since they are going to "get a cut of the fees"?