I subscribe to several mailing lists. A beelion years ago we used to call these things “listservs” — basically it’s an email address that is an alias for a whole group of people, and when you send mail to it, everyone on the list gets a copy. WebSanDiego was my mailing list for a long while.
Anyway, on mailing lists, occasionally there are people who are annoying, or do what’s called trolling, or are otherwise jerks. Not sure what an internet troll is? Think of YouTube comments. Those are internet trolls.
Now, most civilized lists don’t let in people who are merely idiotic jerks. But there are some people who are frustrating. Again, in the old days, I used to simply send any email from such people to the trash. Nowadays, since I use Gmail for email predominantly, I have a different solution.
I tag them.
People who I find begin to act like bozos, I add a little filter to my email such that when email comes from them, it gets a little tag that says “bozo” on it. It’s a reminder of the previous history with that person, and the red color I give the tag in Gmail’s interface functions like a stop sign. It’s personally satisfying. It also discourages me from replying. Because I don’t want more email with bozo tags in it. My bozo tags make me smile, and not frown, when bozos are bozos.
I have no doubt some might consider me a bozo on email lists. I have been that, at times.
Live and let bozo, I say.
Joe Crawford posted this 15 years ago.
What else did he post in May 2008?