Pharmablogosphere: Spam or libel?
Now and then I communicate with John Mack over at Pharmablogosphere.
He asks me to participate in his podcasts and I ask him to buy a t-shirt.
I didn't think there was anything unusual going on in this mutual exchange. Well, that is if you think it is perfectly normal for a former drug executive to suddenly support himself hawking t-shirts. But that's a different story.
I guess John, whom I love dearly, didn't have much to write about yesterday. So the email I sent to him showcasing all my pretty Question Authority T-shirts provided a welcome distraction for his writing passion.
So much that he made a post out of it, writing, Rost Spams!
And of course, John knows everything about spamming, considering that there was that little episode a couple of weeks ago, when CafePharma took him to task and deleted his posts, since they considered his messages, well, I guess, spam. You can read about that story in the PharmaRag, under the headline Naughty Boy John Mack at It Again? Or you could read his own post Banned from CafePharma and CafePharma's response on his blog.
So I could understand that John wanted to put the spotlight on someone else. Like me. And I agree with John that spam is bad, bad, bad. Spam is unsolicited bulk email. We all hate it.
There was just a little problem with my email to John, which I had hoped he would think was funny and not spam. It wasn't sent in bulk. Only to a few bloggers whom I knew. And it wasn't unsolicited, since we have an ongoing email relationship. And he could easily "opt-out" simply by responding. But instead he wrote that "Rost spams." And spam is a crime, punishable with big, big fines.
All of this wouldn't really matter, unless there weren't a gazillion lawyers paid by the Big Blue out there reading everything labeled "Peter Rost." So it is worth pointing out . . . no spam. But to accuse someone of a crime that never existed, is something else . . . libel.
Of course, I figure that John was just having fun and not seriously accusing me of a crime, so I'm not seriously accusing him of libel.
But he ain't getting any more special deals on t-shirts!