Irish Green Party Are Spamming Idiots

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I hate spam.

It's a tactic used by lazy uninventive scumbags.

I don't like politicians that much and consider most of them to be seriously overpaid.

So when I got hit with a spam from the Irish Green Party today to my personal email address I saw red.

Here's the spam itself (screenshot with personal details removed):

green party spam email

I love the way they wanted to "be sure" that I got their unsolicited junk.

I am not interested in the Green Party. I have never expressed any interest in them. I have not asked to be added to any of their mailing lists, so why the hell are they sending me this rubbish?

Funnily enough the contact details on their website include one for data protection - its' as if they were expecting a backlash from their spamming:

green party spammers

Well done Green Party - any chance of ever getting a vote from me is gone!


UPDATE: They spammed Alexia as well
UPDATE 2 - Adrian doesn't really agree with me
UPDATE 3: the story was picked up by The Sunday Times
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83 Responses to Irish Green Party Are Spamming Idiots

  1. TAH January 6, 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    Well its one thing to get a mail about it when you are signed up to it. It is another thing completely if it turns out to be unsolicited. Perhaps a donation using their legislation is in order…. 🙂

  2. Damian January 6, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

    Dear Michele,
    I apologise for your perception of my email as spam. I mistook you for a tech-focused blogger with interests in marketing, Ireland, etc.
    My bad.
    You won’t receive any more emails from me.
    Kind regards,

  3. David January 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

    Is it considered direct marketing if your name is not used?
    I think that that is the gray area in the spamming laws.

  4. Green Ink January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm #

    Ah yes. The “viral” video competition. The winner’s already been selected: it’s John Gormley’s video of John Gormley pretending to be the Star Wars kid, Gormley’s got a fat suit on and everything, it’s really offensive. Second place has already gone to Dramatic Eamon Ryan.

  5. Michele Neylon January 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm #

    Whether I am a blogger or not is irrelevant.
    Your email was not sent to me – it was a very obvious bulk email that you sent to a lot of people.
    Considering that your party is supposedly interested in stopping spam I find this kind of email communication highly hypocritical.

  6. Dónal January 6, 2009 at 8:11 pm #

    I find it funny that the Green Party press office, use a Gmail account for their emails. Would press not be more suitable?
    As a person who likes to support the Green Party, or at least their ideas, I think it is very disappointing that they feel the need to send out spam emails.
    Then, worse still, they insult a blogger on his own blog, which I assume worsened readers opinion of the party even more so.
    I did not receive this email myself, but if I had and it was not such utter spam, I would probably take part, but not now!

  7. Eolai January 6, 2009 at 9:02 pm #

    How nice of someone to apologise for your perception.
    I guess if someone doesn’t know what spam is, they probably don’t know what an apology is either.

  8. Damian January 6, 2009 at 11:06 pm #

    I don’t want to add insult to injury, but for the sake of context; I sent this email to 22 technology journalists and bloggers whose work I read (sorry Dónal, I must look out for your blog) – and whose emails are published on their sites, as I believed they might be interested in the story. We’re the first political party to run such a competition, which I thought might be an interesting hook.
    If there were more hours in the day I would have sent individually addressed mails to the recipients as I know this is both common courtesy and good practise. I was not aware that including the addresses in the BCC field would have caused so much offence, but I will keep this in mind for the future.
    I really don’t think that an informational email, which was obviously non commercial, and was sent to a small, targeted list of recipients can be considered spam, but I accept that it was unsolicited, and I will take these views onboard.

  9. Michele Neylon January 6, 2009 at 11:21 pm #

    I sent 14 thousand emails on Monday. Each and every one of them was personally addressed to the recipient.
    Each and every recipient had an existing business relationship with us.
    Each and every recipient was given the clear option of opting out of receiving further emails from us.
    That took me all of what? 5 minutes?
    If you had engaged with me personally, or with any of the other recipients of your email, I wouldn’t be so annoyed.
    Whether the email was commercial or not is irrelevant.
    If you’d sent me a quick email asking if I’d like to receive information from your organisation I wouldn’t be so annoyed. I’d probably have told you that I wasn’t interested, but we’d have both gone our separate ways in peace.
    My email address is published on my site and I get a lot of email from people who actually go the trouble of addressing me personally. Whether I do anything with the emails they send me is neither here nor there, but I don’t get annoyed about it. Why would I?
    I also don’t understand why the Green Party are using a gmail address for sending out information.
    It makes zero sense to me, unless you have something to hide.

  10. Suzy Byrne January 6, 2009 at 11:41 pm #

    Not the first time this has happened recently. It might be useful to note that there are loads of bloggers out there who have and will run workshops and seminars(many do so for free!) a sort of Course 101 of social media including engagement with bloggers for PR companies, press officers, companies, NGO’s etc.

  11. Michele Neylon January 6, 2009 at 11:45 pm #

    I know Damien (and others) have been doing quite a bit of this in the last few months

  12. David Cochrane January 7, 2009 at 12:11 am #

    For the Green Party Communications Manager to log on here making a glib remark about Michele is rather pathetic.
    He’s not the only person who’s remarked publicly about getting this email (and Alexia did already refer to this as spam.
    Michele *is* interested in marketing, in particular he’s interested in this case of pointing out BAD marketing.

  13. Damian January 7, 2009 at 12:15 am #

    Thanks for the pointers. I’m off to read this and this.
    We have been looking at database-driven email solutions with un-subscribe functionality, but as yet have found nothing that handles complicated contact lists very intuitively. On that front, we’ve nothing to hide, but the Lotus Notes email system offered by the Oireachtas is beyond execrable, which is why we use Gmail.

  14. David Cochrane January 7, 2009 at 12:48 am #

    Either use a paid-for list system from the likes of or – or get your website guys to install phplist on your own domain and send email from
    Of course, you should ask people if they want to be included in these mailings first, as your own Minister (and Data Protection Officer) will tell you.
    Bloggers don’t tend to work/behave like journos when it comes to unsolicited emails.

  15. Adrian Weckler January 7, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    Hey Damian, why wasn’t I on this list of 22? 🙂

  16. Adrian Weckler January 7, 2009 at 10:54 am #

    ps don’t sweat it too much Damian, these guys are secretly enjoying this. Everyone loves a target 🙂

  17. le craic January 7, 2009 at 11:45 am #

    I’ve had occasion to contact Irish bloggers in the past and found some of them (the very ones that go mental about spam) don’t even bother with a reply, or if they do, you are left feeling that you shouldn’t be bothering them and their important lives. And this is what you get as an ‘orny blogger.

  18. Nev Farrell January 8, 2009 at 12:46 am #

    In all fairness le craic, I’ve had reason to contact a few bloggers in my time, and very recently i’ve talked to a few on twitter.
    I’ve had none of the problems you are describing and I have found each and everyone of the irish bloggers that I’ve contacted helpful and polite.
    But, as I’m sure Damian is aware of now though – by sending an unsolicited email to 22 bloggers, was not a good idea. If I was in his shoes, I would have wrote each and every one of the list a personalised message and if I didn’t have enough time to do that, I wouldn’t have done it at all.
    My opinion is that, if you cant be bothered to write a personalised message to a few people, don’t communicate with them at all. If 500 people signed up or specifically asked to follow me (eg. through a newsletter), then I would have had no problem doing what Damian done.
    But the fact of the matter lies in the way that Damian’s party holds a key position in the cabinet as Minister for Communications, and for his party to engage in a malinformed practise like this, or to carry out marketing in such a negative and unresourceful way is irresponsible. as his party is making the laws, he’s breaking them.
    However, Damian, I think you should forget the mailing list system, especialy for numbers this small. You’re writing to a select number of people, and I think that in each case, you should make a bigger effort to engage your recipients than a simple “unsubscribe” button. I think you should take the extra time, and I assure you, it will reap rewards. Only ever begin to use mailing lists when the numbers are so big that you can’t handle them, or people are making an effort to follow you, not you following them.
    Best advice; Lessons learnt – go your seperate ways and don’t let it happen again.
    Damian, listen to what’s being said here.. it’ll stand to you in your future communications 🙂

  19. Michele Neylon January 8, 2009 at 1:40 am #

    What unsubscribe link?

  20. Nev Farrell January 8, 2009 at 2:05 am #

    I was referring to mailing lists in general. If you’re sending a mail out to 20 people, usually the only method of engaging with the recipient is a simple “Click here to unsubscribe” button.
    I was basically saying that if the likes of Damian wants to *engage* with the people he’s sending the mail to, he will need a lot more than an unsubscribe button.
    But perhaps, if there was an unsubscribe button in the original email, it might have quelled/quinched some of the anger. 🙂

  21. Michele Neylon January 8, 2009 at 2:21 am #

    Why would I unsub from a list I never subscribed to in the first place?

  22. John January 9, 2009 at 12:30 am #

    I was going to sat to you Michele, that this is no spam, but on reflection it totally is, an e-mail asking if you wanted this information, even if it was that e-mail that was sent to 22 people first would have been helpful. But I honestly think it was not done in a bad way.

  23. eve January 9, 2009 at 1:34 pm #

    They lost my vote when they jumped into bed with FF anyway…..bikes and lightbulbs, ya that’s going to turn this country around!

  24. Michele Neylon January 9, 2009 at 1:59 pm #

    But lightbulbs are really useful when you want to cycle at night…
    I thought you were a Fine Gael head anyway?

  25. Keith Martin January 9, 2009 at 5:55 pm #

    In the words of Michael Winner “Calm down dear, its just a commercial”.
    The email you recevied was not Spam. It was an email directed at you deliberately though not personally because the writer thought you may be interested in it or give it a plug on your blog.
    You should be happy that your blog is so noteworthy for a start!
    Secondly it does not come under the heading of spam. Its more like an industry newsletter and you should have just binned it or e-mailed back and asked to be taken off the list in future.
    I don’t like the Greens. They are a cynical shower of sellouts and here is my entry for their crap competition
    Also Labour were the first to do this thing during the Lisbon treaty Referendum. So well done on catching up Greens but please do not try and claim it as the first of its kind.
    That would be a lie. And the Greens don’t lie do they?………………..Rossport? Tara? Rendidtion?

  26. Michele Neylon January 9, 2009 at 7:01 pm #

    Have a careful look at the email.
    You will notice the reference to lists etc.,
    At no time did I ever ask to be added to any lists nor was I ever asked if I want to be added.
    If it was a newsletter than I should have been the one given the opportunity to subscribe to it.
    As I’ve already said, if I had been approached in a more professional and courteous manner I could have chosen to do something with the information, decline or simply ignore it.
    I was given none of those options and that is why it is as far as I am concerned spam.
    If you think that a political party has some God given right to invade my inbox with their “message” then you are sorely mistaken

  27. Nev January 9, 2009 at 7:51 pm #

    It was unsolicited email. The message was not asked for, and not requested.
    If you read the context of the post, you would see that it was not an issue with the content of the message, or indeed anything to do with a political campaign – it was an issue with the way that a message was sent to 22 different people that never asked to be added to a list.
    Whether the blog is noteworthy or not, is not up to you or a political party’s communication director to decide.
    Either way, as effective as the Labour party were in their campaign efforts, sending out the same email to many people will have little effect on the way someone votes for Europe… Either way, you and your ‘yes’ counterparts still failed in your bid to secure a majority yes vote. Nothing to be proud of.
    Libertas, on the other hand, with the assistance of Sinn Féin won in their bid to secure the electorate – even with a minority representation in the Dáil.
    I have yet to see any political party interact successfully with their voters through the medium of the web, and in cases where I have, it has been of little success and comprised mainly knit-picking towards each other.
    Either way, the email was uncalled for, and Michele has never given permission for his email to be used, or indeed has Damian produced evidence of agreement from Michele to participate in Green Party promotions.

  28. Keith Martin January 10, 2009 at 10:11 am #

    Its a very grey area. Politicans and political parties have to spread their message and are entitled to approach you via email with their ideas. Democracy is about ideas and consent and you have to allow parties to contact you. However if you make it clear you do not wish to be contacted any further then that would constitute spam.
    In this case my opinion is that this was not a case of Spam but if I was approaching you I would have e-mailed you directly with the details of the issue.
    In any event you have received an apology and I am pretty sure the Greens won’t be contacting you again.
    Oh and if you want any info on the Labour Party you can subscribe for updates at !
    Best of luck!

  29. John O'Neill January 10, 2009 at 10:54 am #

    “Politicans and political parties have to spread their message and are entitled to approach you via email with their ideas”
    Can you please point to legislation and accepted ettiquette which put politicians above th public.
    Unsolicited mail is rude, annoying, anti-efficient, costly, lazy and ineffective. In many cases the people who send it are of similar ilk. The only exception is ignorance but that is resolved by the issue being pointed out and an appology being backed up with intent to refrain from repeating the mistake.
    I know of no other exception. E-mail is not used as a mickey mouse postit. Sending unsolicited email is as offensive as making unsolicited phone calls. If your only defence is you legal right and perception of it being honourable then you just don;t get it. It being that an unsolicited emai campaign (no matter what size) is damaging to senders and annoying for recipients.

  30. Michele Neylon January 10, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    How is it a “grey area”?
    Have you even read any of the EU or Irish legislation regarding electronic communications?
    If you can find me a bit of legislation that grants politicians an entitlement to send people unsolicited emails I would love to read it.

  31. Keith Martin January 10, 2009 at 11:28 am #

    You mention legislation.
    Democracy is about ideas. Members of the public (and even politicans) are entitled to approach anyone, in person, via mail, phone and even email in an effort to communicate those ideas. There is no law against that.
    It is up to the recpient to make it clear whether the approach is welcome or if they no longer wish to be contacted in such a manner.
    There are laws against sending unsolicited spam emails but this was not a case of such. You would not get a prosecution against the Green Party for the e-mail they sent (under any SPAM legislation) because it was more of an unaddress circular to a specific group of 20 people rather than a Spam email.
    It might have been undesirable, unwanted and annoying but it was not in any legal sense spam.
    I think you will find that when it does come to tightening up the law in this area that they will be weighted in favour of emails in relation to freedom of expression of ideas and beliefs and weighted against SPAM which is purely of a commercial or fradulent type.

  32. Tom B January 10, 2009 at 12:52 pm #

    Obviously you are missing the point…
    If I receive email which I have not asked for (and I get a fair bit), whilst the sender might claim to have a democratic right to send me the email, it is still to SPAM or/ and UCE in my mind as I neither requested not opt-in for it
    As for prosecution, if enough people complain about your blanket emails, then your ISP will eventually wake up, smell the coffee (or tea), and ban you from their service. Nett result, no more email from your organization via that service
    So in the end it is in your interest to send to engaged parties, and in this case you failed miserably
    As for having problems running mailing lists, you should look at companies that do it for you – Constant Contact seem to be appearing on many of the email lists I have opted in for – doesn’t take too much searching on google (which you obviously use) to find them!

  33. john oneill January 10, 2009 at 1:02 pm #

    i am shocked that the green party are keen to legislate in favour of unsolicited email. I thought this mail shot was a mistake by an individual which was regretted but your last response indicates that you not alone do not agree there is a problem but are in favour of legistlation which supports unsolicited email. Correct me in clear language if i am wrong as i reckon this may be the blog and twitter political horror story of early 2009

  34. Keith Martin January 10, 2009 at 1:13 pm #

    Tom B.
    The disputed email had nothing to do with me.
    Its the Green Party who sent it. I am just making a point that it is not SPAM in the traditional or legal sense.

  35. Keith Martin January 10, 2009 at 1:17 pm #

    John ONeill
    You mixing me up with the sender of the disputed email.
    Better read the facts again before you blog/tweet your horror story!

  36. Tom B January 10, 2009 at 1:54 pm #

    yeap, fair enough you didnt’t send it …
    Still I have to agree with Michele (in this case(!)) and say I’d consider it SPAM due to it’s unsolicited nature *regardless* of the sender

  37. john oneill January 10, 2009 at 2:17 pm #

    keith, appologies. I did mix u up with original email sender. I am reading this in mobile. My mistake. My question regarding green party email legislation intent still stands. I hope i didnt cause much upset. I remain respectfully opposed to ur views on unsolicited email. John

  38. Niall January 10, 2009 at 4:53 pm #

    It was a bulk email, sent from a GMail account to people who didn’t ask for it.
    It’s basically the equivalent of dumping a truck load of fliers in a busy area. Sure some people might be interested and read them, but the majority will be just pissed off.
    They were also going again Google’s Program Policy which explicitly states:
    In addition to (and/or as some examples of) the violations described in the terms of service, users may not:

    • Generate or facilitate unsolicited commercial email (“spam”). Such activity includes, but is not limited to
      • [I cut out a few lines]
      • sending unsolicited emails to significant numbers of email addresses belonging to individuals and/or entities with whom you have no preexisting relationship

    So instead of using their own servers, they ignored the spam policy on a third party server. I hope that Michele and the other recipients have reported the abuse.
    Your definition of spam doesn’t matter a damn in this case, as they were using a service with it’s own very clear definition of it.

  39. Keith Martin January 10, 2009 at 6:37 pm #

    Firstly my name’s Keith not Kevin!
    Secondly I am afraid even Google would not count the disputed email as SPAM under their own code of practise.
    Google would not define 20 email addresses as “significant numbers”
    See what I mean when I say its a “grey area”?

  40. Michele Neylon January 10, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

    It is not a grey area unless you are an apologist for spammers.
    Go read this definition:
    No matter what way YOU may like to view things the reality is very simple.
    The mail I received was sent in bulk without my explicit permission being given to receive it.
    Whether it was sent to 20 people or 20 thousand people is irrelevant.
    Whether you are capable of understanding that political parties do not have a God given right to spam me or anyone else is irrelevant.
    I, unlike you, am familiar with the Irish and EU legislation covering privacy and electronic communications.

  41. Niall January 10, 2009 at 8:07 pm #

    So what’s the magic number?

  42. Nev January 10, 2009 at 8:33 pm #

    Magic number?
    Are you taking the piss? Politicians with a magic number? If you actually listened to what Keith said;
    “Members of the public (and even politicans) are entitled to approach anyone, in person, via mail, phone and even email in an effort to communicate those ideas. There is no law against that.”
    …This clearly means that politicians have no magic number.
    But, for me and you Niall… it’s a whole different story… 🙂
    Keith, there are gray areas in every walk of life… but to say that this sort of mass mailing, and adding people to lists that they haven’t agreed to… 22 people of 22 thousand, it was still not asked for, and not agreed to.
    It is spam/unsolicited email/mass-mailing, and just because they’re politicians or communications officers, there’s no free cups of tea online, or handshakes. Especially when they show ignorance of the law and disregard for other people.

  43. Keith Martin January 10, 2009 at 9:41 pm #

    No matter what way YOU may like to view things the reality is very simple.
    Under Irish Law you did NOT receive SPAM. I think you are not as au fait with the law as you think and I suggest that you re-read Irish and EU legislation covering privacy and electronic communications.
    The law and EU regulations refer to “direct marketing” and are designed to tackle unsolicited email of a commercial basis sent by mass mail.
    Anyone is free to email you in relation to political matter or to share information with you provided it is not sent indiscriminatly to you. They do not require your permission!
    The email you received from the Green Party is not SPAM under Irish Law.
    BUT if you think I am wrong you may wish to make a complaint in relation to spam, by contacting the office of the Data Protection Commissioner, Canal House, Station Road, Portarlington, Co. Laois. LoCall 1890 25 22 31 – Phone 00353 57 868 4800 – Fax 00353 57 868 4757 – email

  44. Keith Martin January 10, 2009 at 9:47 pm #

    Niall and Nev,
    People do not need your permission to communicate with you.
    The issue of 20 is in relation to an earlier post with regard to what Google’s terms and conditions refer to as a “substantial number” of emails and I made the point to say that Google would not in all probability consider 20 emails to be a “substantial number” or SPAM.
    But Michele can complain to Google if he so wishes.
    It is very very unlikely that either complaint would be upheld in either case because…as I have said before.
    “Its a very grey area” from a legal point of view.
    SPAM laws refer to “direct marketing” and are aimed at stopping commercial and fradulent emails not aimed at stopping the Green Party from contacting 20 bloggers over an issue they may be interested in blogging about!
    Please update us all as to the status and outcome of any complaints you make Michele.

  45. Michele Neylon January 10, 2009 at 10:00 pm #

    Maybe you need to get your hands on a dictionary, because it’s obvious to me that you have issues understanding plain English.
    The email was unsolicited.
    The email was sent as bulk
    The email was sent to my personal email address
    That is spam.
    You might try to wiggle around it, but the legislation refers to bulk mail and protecting private citizens’ privacy.
    An email does not have to be commercial or fraudulent to be considered spam and in any case the one I received was aimed at promoting a political party, so it was commercial / marketing in nature.

  46. Damien Mulley January 10, 2009 at 10:13 pm #

    Keith, you’re a moron and you’re marking yourself out as one loud and clear on this whole thread. You are completely wrong and obviously have zero experience in this whole area. Have you made a spam complaint? Has it been upheld? I have. Stop acting like you know the law by telling people they don’t know the law. You’re a l-i-b-r-a-r-i-a-n not a l-a-w-y-e-r.

  47. Niall January 10, 2009 at 10:13 pm #

    Em, sorry to have to break this to you but Spam also refers to Unsolicited communications which is covered under “EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS AND SERVICES) (DATA PROTECTION AND PRIVACY) REGULATIONS 2003”
    I also see nothing exempting political parties in that particular document. Under the Data Protection Act 1988 there is a mention of “direct mailing” exemption for political purposes, however it has yet to be decided whether or not that covers Electronic mail.

  48. Keith Martin January 11, 2009 at 12:17 am #

    I am very surprised to see you reduced to personal abuse to make a point.
    Please don’t call me names or make remarks with regard to my career.
    I hold a Honours Degree in Media and studied law as part of this course.
    I would ask you to remove your name calling from this posting and apologise.

  49. Damien Mulley January 11, 2009 at 12:24 am #

    I’d like to withdraw my remarks about you being a moron.

  50. Keith Martin January 11, 2009 at 12:25 am #

    Legally you have no complaint against the Green Party. It was not SPAM in the sense of EU or Irish Law.
    The legislation does refer to bulk, 20 names would not be defined as bulk by any District Court, nor would the court consider information on the Green Party’s video competition being supplied to a technology blogger as “direct marketing”.
    Please take a formal complaint on this issue if you like but you will not receive satisfaction from the Data Protection Commissioner.
    If your argument is that the email from the Green Party constitutes SPAM in the broadest sense in the English language then YES you are right but my argument has been that LEGALLY under Irish law it is not SPAM.
    Nor would I consider it SPAM it the real sense of the matter.

  51. Damien Mulley January 11, 2009 at 12:27 am #

    Instead I think you’re a cock. Fuck off with your “I’m very surprised” passive aggressive bollox.

  52. Keith Martin January 11, 2009 at 12:32 am #

    Thanks for retracting that.
    This seems to be a passionate subject!
    I am not an apologist for the Green Party. I have no time for them.
    Its just that I see a big difference in what the Greens did to Michele as opposed to say sending out the same message blindly in thousands of emails.
    I hate SPAM, It wastes my time but in this case I don’t think it was SPAM and I don’t think that legally the Greens would have any case to answer.
    I think worst case is that the Data Protection Commissioner would advise them to directly contact people rather than round robining bloggers.
    That’s all I am saying!

  53. Michele Neylon January 11, 2009 at 12:34 am #

    Did you even read the link I provided to the Spamhaus website?
    It’s obvious to me that you really don’t understand what blogs or blogging is about if you think that my being a blogger with an interest in technology is going to give anyone a license to spam me.
    Where do you get off with your inane comments about what a court would or wouldn’t say?
    Are you a judge?
    You are not qualified at any level to make any judgement call on what qualifies as spam and the more you try to argue your feeble pathetic case the more inane and stupid you look.

  54. Damien Mulley January 11, 2009 at 12:34 am #

    According to the LawOfKeith those companies I got done under the Data Protection Law for spamming me and the ones that will be gotten done in the next few weeks and months, they were (using Keiths Caps Lock technique) ILLEGALLY charged for a crime they didn’t commit.
    They’ll be breaking out of a maxiumum security penitentiary soon enough I suppose and be available in the Golden Pages to help people out when nobody else can.

  55. Damien Mulley January 11, 2009 at 12:46 am #

    Honestly, it’s when people are convinced about something from a hackneyed understanding and no experience and push and insist on it and ignore intelligent arguments saying the opposite, this is when dangerous things happen. Thank god it’s only spam we’re talking about and not the good of the nation. Well done to Damian from the Greens on understanding the errors of his ways and seeing the wood for the trees.

  56. Keith Martin January 11, 2009 at 12:52 am #

    Why don’t you take a complaint out and see which of us is right.
    I have already supplied the details you need to make a complaint.
    Also is it your policy to allow personal abuse on your blog?

  57. Damien Mulley January 11, 2009 at 12:56 am #

    Advocating censorship now Keith?

  58. Bock the Robber January 11, 2009 at 1:49 am #

    An Honours degree, by Jesus. In media! And with Law as part of the course?
    Holy fuck.
    In its its own Filing Cabinet!

  59. Nev January 11, 2009 at 2:08 am #

    This is spam. Even under law, it is spam, we are all telling you that. Just listen. Please?
    What you’re telling us is that political parties are allowed break the laws that they create. Go figure.
    Obviously, you’re ‘online’ campaign for this year has already failed… Just go back and canvas in your local area where you look like you know something. … and where you look like less of an ill-informed fool. Or else go learn the law, or at least the laws against spamming people.

  60. Keith Martin January 11, 2009 at 2:39 pm #

    Why don’t you take a complaint out and see which of us is right.
    I have already supplied the details you need to make a complaint.
    Also is it your policy to continue to allow personal abuse on your blog?

  61. Michele Neylon January 11, 2009 at 2:46 pm #

    That link gives me a 404. Try putting it into something like to shorten it

  62. Keith Martin January 11, 2009 at 2:55 pm #

    See the emphasis is on commercial spam. All I am saying and all I have said all along is that I don’t think that the Green Party could be convicted under Irish or EU SPAM legislation for the email they sent you.
    The email they sent you is SPAM in the broadest sense of the word but under Irish and EU law you will not get a conviction.
    That’s all I’m saying! There is no need for people on this forum to call me names just because they disagree with me and I won’t respond to posters who abuse me.
    The simplist solution is for you to make a complaint as an experiment and update us on your blog as to how you get on.

  63. Michele Neylon January 11, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    You obviously don’t understand copyright law either, so I’ve removed the Sunday Business Post article that you quoted in its entirety.
    The link to the article is:
    For someone with such a keen interest in politics you seem to be incapable of actually listening to what people have been saying to you. Damien has a lot of experience with the DPC and knows what he is talking about.
    You don’t.
    And continuing to harp on about your concept of spam is not going to change the fact that you are wrong and have been since you first started posting comments here

  64. Keith Martin January 11, 2009 at 3:06 pm #

    This is what the Data Protection Commissioner says about political SPAM.
    The quote below is from his website.
    “the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003 has defined direct marketing as including “direct mailing other than direct mailing carried out in the course of political activities by a political party or its members, or a body established by or under statute or a candidate for election to, or a holder of, elective political office”. This brings necessary clarity to this area.”
    However he also goes on to say
    “that direct marketing, regardless of the medium used, is more likely to earn the thumbs down than the approval of people with, predictably, resistance being the strongest to direct marketing attempts via the home telephone.”
    But I think its CASE CLOSED and I win the argument!

  65. Keith Martin January 11, 2009 at 3:08 pm #

    I don’t think you understand the concept of copyright either. I am free to use an extract of an article as long as I quote the author, publication date and publication.
    Or are you an expert on copyright too?

  66. Keith Martin January 11, 2009 at 3:17 pm #

    It is sneaky but it does seem that politicans in power have adjusted the law to exempt themselves from Irish and EU law in relation to SPAM.
    So while you might be right that the Green Party sent you SPAM
    I am right in that I said it wasn’t SPAM under Irish or EU law.
    Feel free to take a complaint against the Greens for SPAM but you won’t get anywhere.
    Case closed, thanks for the interesting debate. Now I have to get back to work!
    Regards to you all

  67. Dan Sullivan January 11, 2009 at 4:39 pm #

    Oddly enough I’ve got a mass mail from a while back that started with ‘Howdy’ and ended with “Yes. this has been a mass email but I’m sure you’ll forgive me.” It was about a training course the individual was running in UCC, yet the same person is on here decrying someone’s else for doing what they thought was fine for themselves.

  68. Niall January 11, 2009 at 7:31 pm #

    The issue is far from as clear cut as you seem to believe. In Appendix 2 of the Data Protection Commissioner Annual Report 04 harvesting of email addresses is mentioned as a special problem areas for political activity (Page 42)

  69. Adrian January 12, 2009 at 9:41 am #

    This morning I got an e-mail from someone about a missing person, a “JP Grealis”. Is that spam? Should I be outraged? 🙂

  70. Sean January 15, 2009 at 5:43 pm #

    You got burned!

  71. Barra January 18, 2009 at 2:19 am #

    For comedic value, could a newspaper newsdesk take a spam case against those who send it unsolicited email addresss? Also, google ads at bottom of this page are for “email addresss finder”. Nice.

  72. John Farrelly January 19, 2009 at 7:59 pm #

    You and Michele need to get a grip on reality. There are people out there with real problems and you “see red” over someone sending you an email. Grow up!
    If you put yourself in the public eye by publishing a blog, people who see you as a social influencer. What will you complain about next?
    You want to know what bad marketing is? Putting cut price/cheap ads for your services on your own blog.
    The irony if this is that you have just succeeded in creating a whole lot more interest in the Green Party email that if you had all keep you ‘faux’ hurt to yourselves

  73. David Cochrane January 20, 2009 at 1:54 am #

    Um, John,
    I wasn’t seeing red, I was being helpful, I for one actually like when political parties send me press releases, I’ve built up a pretty good website on the back of it, I was actually more annoyed because I DIDNT get this email from the Greens.
    I did point out that Mr Connon’s remark back to Neylon was snotty, it was, but that was the context of my comment, nothing else.

  74. Nev Farrell January 20, 2009 at 6:59 pm #

    At least the ads on this profile aren’t been forced upon others, and aren’t been shoved down your throat everytime you look at your emails.
    At least Michele isn’t making laws, and then employing sidekicks to break them. And, sure, if Michele is a social influencer, then why didn’t Mr. Connon write a personalised email to him, and not just *create* his own mailing list and blast out messages to everyone on his *list*.
    If Mr. Neylon wanted to receive this unsolicited mail, I believe he would have asked to be put onto the list.
    It’s principle over effect John, thats how I see it.

  75. John Farrelly January 21, 2009 at 11:12 am #

    Points taken.
    What I see when I read through the thread is a lot of people getting all hot under the collar about meaningless drivel. The green party sent you an unwanted email to your “personal” email address. Well it’s not very personal when you publish it. It seems to me that this thread is more about ego then it is about ANYTHING that is of ANY relevance to most peoples lives. You (plural) seem more concerned about being right that about making any meaningful contribution to what really matters to people. “How many angels can dance on the head of a needle” comes to mind.
    So, go back to work, smile, make someone happy, tell your family you love them but please stop wasting precious moments of your life on this. That’s all.
    Hat’s off to you for publishing my ‘snot’ You are clearly a man of principle (it’s no irony that people of principle waste inordinate about of time being ‘right’, but that’s another story.

  76. John O'Neill January 21, 2009 at 1:03 pm #

    Hi John (Farrelly)
    I think you make a number of good points. Yes many of us did get hot under the collar. Yes, there are more important things in life. I don’t think however that anyone here would dispute this. The people commenting on this post who are not happy with what the Green party have done specifically with regard to the sending of unsolicited email. Noone here is suggesting that the Green party have caused significant harm to anyone. It is important to understand that the problem arises when many organisations and individuals send a small amount of unsolicited email. This reduces efficiency and can make email near useless for some people.
    The reason people got hot under the collar is that when they aired their grievance and explained the problem they were met with defiance rather than appologies. If the offenting party (pun not intended) had said that they understood it wasn’t a good or smart thing to do and they would refrain from repeating the process that would have been the end of it. Instead we were met with an attitude akin to (not direct quote) – We have the right to do this and therefore you are wrong to tell use to refrain from doing it. Ha ha you are silly, we will continuer sending unsolicited email because we can.
    My point is that it is not good practice. It does not win friends or votes and it is not a nice thing to do. That’s all. I reckon this one won’t be resolved. It is the Green parties loss. Irnically, as a consequence of sending out unsolicited email they had an opportunity to display courage and make friends. That would have required a level of acquiesence. Didn’t happen.

  77. Barra January 21, 2009 at 2:23 pm #

    @ John O’Neil,
    “The reason people got hot under the collar is that when they aired their grievance and explained the problem they were met with defiance rather than appologies. If the offenting party (pun not intended) had said that they understood it wasn’t a good or smart thing to do and they would refrain from repeating the process that would have been the end of it. Instead we were met with an attitude akin to (not direct quote) – We have the right to do this and therefore you are wrong to tell use to refrain from doing it. Ha ha you are silly, we will continuer sending unsolicited email because we can.”
    Thats not at all what Damian said. In fact, Damian ended by saying “Thanks for the pointers. I’m off to read this and this.”
    The only person to display the attitutde your talking about is Keith Martin, who is not connected in any way to the Green Party. From my experience of the Green Party, it is the most pro-IT party – the only one to have anything to say on open source if I’m not mistaken. A mistake was made and was apologised for.

  78. Nev Farrell January 21, 2009 at 11:59 pm #

    I’m sorry but I’m going to have go off-topic and pull you on your loose collared use of the term open-source.
    Can you please explain to me what difference it makes if green party are using open source or not. Using open source does not mean you’re pro-IT, it’s just effective use of software.
    Also, none of the parties are using technology, really, and certainly not effectively. Thank god they don’t – because if they’re all like that Connon fella and Keith Martin’s “law” theories, then this country is fucked when it starts using technology.
    And then, if you REALLY want to go proIT, then tell me why that idiot Eamon Ryan, your minister for comms. just freely handed out the national broadband tender to Three, HSDPA broadband. What the hell was he thinking? Thats not proIT – thats pro Quick-Fix.
    Just because the west of ireland is smart enough to know that you’re party has never done f#ck all for the west, except run stupid candidates and make false promises, you decide to hand us out this shite broadband in return for false promises.
    So don’t come in here throwing words like Open Source and proIT around the house when it is clear you haven’t a clue about either, and that you.
    Been ProIT should also have an aspect of knowing something about online communications and the difference between email and spam. If you are unclear on what this this subject of online communications is Damian, go on a training course or something… or ask know-it-all Mr. Ryan.
    Get Damian sorted, and tell him what a spam message is, and bring Mr. Ryan too, because it’s been him making all these supposed laws against spam.
    Absoloutley ridiculous behavior from the Green Party to be honest. It started bad enough, and then just went downhill.

  79. Barra January 22, 2009 at 1:04 pm #

    You just wanted a good rant there, didn’t you? And by go off topic I suppose you mean respond to nothing I said. I said the Greens are the only ones to the extent of my knowledge that have a policy on open source software and standards. If you don’t see any more importance to open source other then “effective use of software” then thats a rather large divergence in views. There is a philosophical commitment to open source and standards in the Greens that is found nowhere else. But by all means, blow all the steam you want on “not caring for the west”.

  80. John O'Neill January 22, 2009 at 3:10 pm #

    Hi Barra
    I don’t have a strong opinion on open source software nor do I claim to know much about it. I am not disagreeing with you here but more looking for you to explain what you mean.
    I quote; “you don’t see any more importance to open source other then “effective use of software””
    Can you explain what the other importance there is. I thought open source offered potential savings and flexibility to those who use it effectively. I believed it was about money and flexability for any interested party be they a corporation or individual. I didn’t know there was any mystery to it. Is there more to it? Is there some magic that nobody told us about?

  81. Adrian January 23, 2009 at 9:33 am #

    A last thought on ‘personal email’ v ‘mass email’.
    What is a personal email?
    Is it:
    Hi Adrian,
    How are things? We’re doing some interesting stuff at the moment. Thought you might be interested in this: [link-url]
    Pee Orr.
    Would that pass the grade? Because if so, it’s almost as easy to just substitute a different name in, 22 times as it is to hit ‘send’ to a list of 22.
    Would that make the difference to how the recipient feels?
    And is that what this really about — how the recipient feels? Because it doesn’t seem to be about the content of the email.
    In both kinds of emails, the content is essentially the same. Unless you really want touch-feeliness.

  82. tom ryan March 9, 2009 at 12:32 am #

    Good god will you calm down. I read your site a lot and like your articles but I cannot support them or take you or your site seriously after the tone in your posts towards the green Party guy.
    I m no fan of theirs put take a chill pill.
    Tom Ryan

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