Marc Horowitz marc at MIT.EDU
Fri Feb 19 16:57:56 PST 1993

It is conventional to avoid blatant commercial traffic on the Internet
and the USENET.  Part of this is because of the Acceptable Use
Policies which exist on parts of the net.  But a lot of it is that
people generally don't want to see random advertisements.  I throw
them away when the come in the paper mail; I don't want them in my
email, either.

The exceptions are lists where advertising is explicitly permitted,
and lists whose purpose is advertisements.  Many vendors maintain
lists to which they send pricing information, new product
announcements, etc.  This is fine, because I can ignore those lists
without missing anything I might really be interested.

If someone were involved with, say, selling licenses to use PGP
legally, or an electronic bank or escrow service, I think that might
be OK, since it is of *direct* interest to this list.  But even that
is a shady area.

If I want commercials, I subscribe to one of the appropriate lists.
You wouldn't want me discussing cooking techniques or airline travel
on cypherpunks , because it's not appropriate, and there are separate
forums for those topics.  Think of advertising the same way, and it
appears not like censorship, which it isn't, but simply staying on the
topic, which it is.


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