Subject: Balangara
From: Andrew Stafford <>
Date: Sun, 20 Nov 2011 01:25:06 +1000
Hi Mike,

You wrote: "I take your point about 'slippery slopes' but I'm still surprised 
at the tone of some replies, recommending boycotts and suggesting those of us 
that decided to contribute to the project may never see our money again (or the 
DVD we expect to have paid for), which is what I was getting at with the 'mean 
spirited' reference."

That's fair enough, but obviously many birding-aus users (even those like me 
who simply browse the archives, and yet still found ourselves spammed by 
Balangara) are particularly aggravated by unsolicited commercial email of any 
kind. While the hostility of some responses may appear mean-spirited, the 
principle they are defending is clear: many people do regard spam as an 
invasion of privacy, regardless of the motives of the sender, and are therefore 
resentful - quite understandably, in my view. In an age where millions of 
people seem happy to give away their personal information via facebook, etc, 
many more are just as vehemently protective of it. We don't know who Balangara 
is, we don't know what they intend to do with the email addresses they've 
harvested (probably nothing, but that's not the point) and are suspicious and 
angry about the intrusion. 

Also, birding-aus has long held a policy that messages should not be of a 
strictly commercial nature. That's certainly been stretched pretty thin in 
recent times (as noted earlier), but the ironic thing is that in this instance 
a one-off message communicated via birding-aus generally would have caused a 
great deal less angst than individual messages being sent to thousands of 
birding-aus subscribers and occasional contributors alike. Of course, Balangara 
may not have known that, but I suspect after this furore it's a mistake they 
won't make again. :)




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