Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Another level of spam

There's a difference between seeing an ad on a website, and an audible ad that starts playing an hour after you visited, when it's among 20 hidden tabs in one of the windows you opened on a search for something, and long forgot about. And it starts playing during a phone conversation.

Or, sitting on a NYC subway and having a performer of some kind come into the car and play, loudly, in front of you. With the doors closed so you can't escape. While you were in the middle of reading something. It happens all the time now. Tourists love it, that's why it keeps happening. The locals have to live with it, and after the thirtieth time, it's not even remotely sympathetic. You're a captive non-volunteer for this random person's business model. Life imitating the Internet.

Or when a friend on Facebook decides you are a "target" for repeated news about a product you aren't interested in. There are some circumstances, for the reader, for your friend, where The Algorithm that's so despised is doing its job. But the friend seems to find a way around it, and the spam resumes.

In the last case, there is an exit, but it's one your friends don't want to take -- blocking you. So when you aggressively spam your friends, you actually hurt your cause, not help it, because eventually the frustration gets too great, and you do block them. Without any guilt whatsoever.

Spam is annoying. Whatever this kind of spam is called it's infuriating.

Last built: Sun, Mar 22, 2015 at 5:50 PM

By Dave Winer, Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 11:29 AM. Greetings, citizen of Planet Earth. We are your overlords. :-)