Why do some spammers insist on prefacing their junk with statements like “THIS IS NOT SPAM?”

Some idiot just posted a bit long letter offering to let me put my “products” on their online store. No, they didn’t send me an email about, say, the comic book collection I’m selling. No, they didn’t offer to sell prints or digital copies of my photography. No, they didn’t offer to publish my writing or Katie’s writing. They certainly didn’t look for contact information on any of those pages, because if they had, they would have found it and used proper channels. (Well, probably. I occasionally get comments on my Flash site via eBay’s “Question to Seller” feature because people don’t see the email address at the bottom of the page, but they do see the link to my eBay profile.)

They posted a very generic form letter—so generic that I can’t tell what they’re offering to resell—as a comment on a two-year-old blog post in which I remarked on some new comic books I had started reading.

And you know what? That’s spam. You can yell all you want that it isn’t, but when you post a completely off-topic advertisement on someone’s site, when you send someone a (supposed) business offer without checking to see whether it’s relevant—particularly when you claim to have checked them out, but clearly haven’t bothered—that’s spam.

And denying that fact won’t make me accept the offer (or leave the comment visible) any more than the “Please do not discard” statements on credit card offers will get me to fill out an application.

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