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Re: [casi] Dear every body in my inbox Please take the time to signthis petition and send it on to the addresses as marked

Dear Antony & list,

Email petitions like the one just forwarded to the CASI list are not at
all useful - please do not forward them!

Any email which asks you to add your name and forward it to all your
friends will rapidly snowball out of control. Email petitions like this
often circulate for literally years, whilst in fact almost as soon as the
petition was started, so many messages will be generated to the address
you are asked to send copies to that the email account will be closed, or
at the very least, the petition messages filtered out and discarded. There
is no way anyone on the receiving end of these petitions (whether the
organiser or some other target) could collate all the replies they get
into any meaningful form.

I'm not saying all internet-based petitions are worthless. Petitions where
you sign on a website can be useful, and if the petition is properly
managed there is no harm in distributing emails about such petitions to
persuade people to sign. But emails which are themselves petitions - where
you "add your name to the list" at the bottom of the email - do far more
bad than good. (If you don't believe me, search on the web for "email
petitions" and see what advice you receive!).

I would recommend you don't forward email petitions of the type I've
described to your friends, and please don't send them to the CASI list.

Best wishes,

Seb Wills

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