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Micropayments for email: wrong!

2004-02-19 17:30:58.869682+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

A few days ago there was a /. link to Eric Allman on The Economics of Spam, yet another argument that micropayments will save us. Now I'm against micropayments because the friction of accounting and making payments raises the price of doing an action a lot, and this is going to become a way for some large company to suck money out of the system.

However, there's another larger issue here: Micropayments won't stop spam any more than long distance fees stopped telephone solicitors. The only thing micropayments might do is make some of the more egregious offenders change their tactics, but it'll up the legitimacy of large companies sending crap, the same way our physical mailboxes are stuffed with annoyances that cost us time and money to dispose of. Right now I'm divided between technical solutions like Brian Warner's Petmail and social solutions like squads of vigilantes leaving the mangled corpses of spammers on display as an example to others.

[ related topics: Spam Currency Economics ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-02-19 19:48:26.091902+00 by: meuon

I'm voting for the 'mangled corpses of spammers'.

#Comment Re: Spammity spam made: 2004-02-19 20:25:55.783672+00 by: Jerry Kindall

Micropayments won't stop spam any more than long distance fees stopped telephone solicitors.

Do you regularly receive dozens or hundreds of telemarketing calls per day?

Compared to spam, to two or three significant digits telemarketing calls do not even exist.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-02-19 20:51:12.985083+00 by: Dan Lyke

That make it past my filters, I probably get about twice the number of spams than the pre the FTC Do Not Call list calls I got. I'm only now starting to use the telephone again, for a while I'd just ignore messages on my answering machine because most of them would be "this is not a sales call, we just want to tell you about a business opportunity you don't want to miss" crap and anyone who knows me knows I'm much more responsive to email.

In either case, the net effect was the same.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-02-20 19:03:49.365101+00 by: TheSHAD0W

I dunno, if it's used to bootstrap a decent micropayment system that can be used for other purposes, then maybe it's not so bad...