September 24, 2009

Wall Street Journal: We Hate Net Neutrality, but We Love to Spam!

Greetings. I always try to separate the staff of news organizations from their managements. In poll surveys at least, it seems popular for the public to berate reporters. But as far as my own experiences go, most reporters that I've dealt with, whether in print, radio, or television, are hard workers who try quite diligently to maintain a reasonable balance in reports, while explaining technical topics as clearly as possible -- the latter a particularly tough task when writing for non-technical, mainstream media outlets.

But while there are lots of top-notch reporters out there, that doesn't mean that their managements aren't sometimes blind as bats.

There are various examples of this, but today I'd like to concentrate on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which has provided a particularly egregious case in point.

A couple of days ago, the WSJ published an editorial blasting the new FCC moves on Network Neutrality and Transparency, and explicitly suggesting that Net Neutrality is largely a plot for "Internet Socialism" being bankrolled and orchestrated by Google.

This is utter and complete bull, but the WSJ is welcome to their opinion, of course.

But at the same time that they're weaving their anti-neutrality fantasies about Google, the WSJ has been actively participating in a massive spamming campaign for Wall Street Journal Online that is flooding mailboxes all over the Net.

These WSJ spams have been increasing in quantity here for some time, but after receiving about 20 of them this morning that slipped through my spam filters, it's obvious that the WSJ is rising rapidly toward the top of the spamming offense list.

Just to be clear, I don't have a "preexisting relationship" with the WSJ. I don't receive their paper edition. I don't have an account on their Web site. Their spams are coming in to all manner of account names here, some of which have only previously been used in very limited contexts on specific non-WSJ-affiliated Web sites.

The actual spams are delivered from While the exact relationship between that site and the WSJ proper is difficult to discern from the outside, I have established that the included links appear to pass through a WSJ-domain ordering-related site.

I don't much care if these WSJ spams are approved directly by the WSJ or are the idea of some third-party vendor -- since as far as I'm concerned the fact that the WSJ is accepting orders resulting from this garbage makes the WSJ complicit in the spamming itself.

The sensibilities of Wall Street Journal management when it comes to the Internet are very clear. While they ludicrously consider Net Neutrality -- a concept that will well serve the vast majority of the Internet's users -- to be a socialist Google plot, the WSJ simultaneously has endorsed through their actions one of the worst, wasteful, annoying, and frequently criminal uses of the Net -- spam.

There's one thing that we can say for sure about the Journal's management these days -- at least they're being consistent.

Qui tacet consentire.


Posted by Lauren at September 24, 2009 11:37 AM | Permalink
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