My Little Mole™ Rules Of The Internet
Website owners, violate these rules at your own risk.
These are the rules of the Internet. They describe how honest and legitimate websites operate. Any website that does not follow these rules is considered a Fraudulent website and is subject to be added to our BLACKLIST which means every visitor to that site will receive a warning alerting them to it's failure to comply with the Rules. We will start with a quick summary. Then we will have a longer and more detailed explanation of the rules.
Any website or company that violates these rules will be considered Fraudulent and will be BLACKLISTED.
The following activities are Strictly Forbidden
Decleration of Internet Users Rights
What is spam?
Spam is any unsolicited email message offering to sell something, directing someone to a website, or asking someone to call a phone number that was sent by a company or website that does not have explicit permission from the owner of the email address to send them email.
Explicit and Active subscription is the ONLY legitimate way to sign up for a mailing list or for sales related mailings.
A company can NOT automatically subscribe customers. The ONLY legitimate way anyone can be subscribed to a mailing list is if the person goes to a website, enters their email address, clicks a subscribe button, then receives a confirmation email AND responds to that email to confirm they want to subscribe. Any website that does not follow this procedure and sends sales emails is a spammer.
A website or company cannot auto-subscribe email addresses which sign-up for a different service. For example, if you offer to add other websites to your Software Download website, then you cannot start sending them unrelated get-rich-quick or advertise-your-website-to-millions type spam even if they click a link to confirm their SUBMISSION. They are confirming a submission not a subscription. This is a dishonest trick, offer one service and require a subscription to an unwanted service. This is not a legitimate type of marketing. You must send one email to confirm their submission and you must have in that email a separate and clearly identified confirmation link to subscribe to any mailing list IF the recipient wants to subscribe. Auto subscribing to a list as part of a free service without making it clear in the email what is happening is a violation of the rules.
Companies can NOT place a checkbox on their checkout page and pre-check it for the customer to subscribe them to a mailing list. This is NOT a legitimate opt in and it is a fraudulent trick. Legitimate companies do not use this type of deceptive opt-in mailing. The ONLY way a customer can opt-in is if they type in their email address and click a SUBSCRIBE button, then reply to a confirmation email. Checking a box during checkout is NOT a legitimate way to opt in to a mailing. Any company that pre-checks the box is fraudulent because the customer is not opting in, the website is signing the customer up without their permission by sneaking in a pre-selected item on a long page of information. The owner of the email address must ACTIVELY opt in. There is no legitimate method to passively opt-in to any mailing list or newsletter. Any website caught using a pre-checked opt-in mailing list box is subject to blacklisting. If a user checks an unchecked box to opt-in, they still must receive the confirmation email and click the confirmation link before their subscription is considered EXPLICIT and ACTIVE.
Dishonest Company: "But customers can unsubscribe if they do not want to receive our flood of harassing offers!"
No. People can not unsubscribe or opt out from a website mailing list they never subscribed to or did not Explicitly opt-in to. Any such website has already proven themselves to be dishonest by using their email address without the person's permission. Any company that expects this will either sell the person's address to other dishonest websites and flood their mailbox with more spam or they will send more of their own spam. Any website that makes unauthorized use of an email address is dishonest and cannot be trusted. Email address owners cannot unsubscribe and are advised to NOT click any unsubscribe links from a mailing list they did not explicitly subscribe to. This only confirms their address is active for dishonest spammers. Any company sending non EXPLICIT and non ACTIVE opt-in email has already proven itself to be a dishonest spammer. It is dishonest for any company to auto subscribe customers and then tell them it is the customer's responsibility to unsubscribe. It is NEVER the customers responsibility to unsubscribe to a list they did not Explicitly AND Actively subscribe to. The customer should email and call by phone the company to make the dishonest company unsubscribe them. The company subscribed the customer so the company can unsubscribe them.
Why can companies not use your email address without your Explicit permission? Your mailing address is public. Your email address(and phone) are private because you pay for those services. Even if you have a free mail service like Yahoo.com, Yahoo pays for it through advertisements and allows you to use it. Yahoo does not give permission to spammers to use an email address they are paying for. When you sign up with an ISP or any other service, you are not giving permission to anyone to use your email address. Spammers are stealing your private email address and using it without your permission when they send you spam. Spammers are stealing internet services you are paying for. When you register with your ISP, you are paying for a certain amount of email storage space, bandwidth, and computer services. When a company sends you an email without your permission, they are using services YOU are paying for without your permission. Part of your monthly ISP fee is paying for these services. These companies are stealing from you by sending spam. They are sending you sales messages that you pay for.
Are there any exceptions to the Explicit opt-in rule? No, not really. One variation is when the user has created an account on a website which required email verification. The user can then login to their account and Actively select an opt-in mailing as long as they have to use a username and password to access the website. There is no need for the confirmation email if the user is logging into the website, then opting in. This opt in CAN NOT be automatic when the user creates an account. That would be a passive opt-in which is fraudulent. The user must actively opt-in by selecting an option.
It is not the victims responsibility to ask that they not be violated. Recipients of spam do not have to opt-out or unsubscribe from services they never subscribed to in the first place. If every business followed this dishonest practice, internet users would do nothing but unsubscribe from hundreds of message services every day. Dishonest services would simply change the name of their mailing list and continue spamming only to claim "you unsubscribed from our scamcompanylist-101, this is our newnamescamcompanylist-207, you are free to unsubscribe from it too, but we will subscribe you to the next 1000 lists we make up anyway". It is not the recipients responsibility to unsubscribe, it is the senders responsibility to obtain the recipients permission first, before sending any advertisements and this solicitation cannot be done by email. The user must be asked on a website or by regular postal mail. Sending a subscription invitation is itself spam.
Opt-in cannot be a requirement to complete a purchase. That is no longer voluntary and it does not qualify as EXPLICIT and ACTIVE. Opt-In can be a requirement for membership if the membership is legitimate and honors the other MLMROTI spam rules such as the 12 month renewal rule.
Membership is not a license to spam. There must be a tangible, ongoing and real benefit to membership. A website cannot claim by registering, the person becomes a lifetime member. Having your company name, contact information, or URL or other web links listed on a website does not constitute membership. Memberships must be recurring, at least every 12 months they must be renewed by an active confirmation from the member(according to the previously described rules). A website cannot send a notice saying, if you want to continue being a member don't do anything. That is passive subscription and that is not a legitimate subscription method. Only Explicit and Active subscriptions are allowed. The user must DO something. A membership must require some benefit for the person in exchange for something. The member may pay a membership fee, they may allow their information to be sent to marketing companies, but they always have the option to cancel.
Emails can only be sent to members under the membership if the person has actively signed up, requested and approved the emails, and has agreed to an exchange or paid for membership.
Companies must agree to only use email addresses they have Explicit and Active permission to use. Any company that emails to an email address that was stolen using a trojan horse program will never be removed from our blacklist.
Opt-In mailings which do meet the Explicitly and Active opt-in criteria are NOT lifetime subscriptions. Every email message must contain instructions on how to unsubscribe. Unsubscribe requests must be IMMEDIATE. There is no legitimate reason to delay unsubscribe requests more than a few hours. Opt-In mailings must expire after a fixed time.
Software companies can send version update notices to software users as long as these are not excessive and the updates are legitimate updates, not minor bug fixes and not updates that are veiled excuses to send sales emails. The user must still EXPLICITLY and ACTIVELY opt-in to receive these notices. An exception is when a major flaw is found, or a security or safety issue is discovered, or a flaw that could lead to damage or loss of data. In these cases any company may contact their users with a notice as long as the primary purpose of the message is the notice and not a sales pitch.
If the recipient does not respond to resubscribe but they were previously Explicitly and Actively subscribed, you can send one additional notice of un subscription but it must contain no sales pitches. It can however contain an offer such as "resubscribe now and receive a 20% off your next purchase "
There is a special allowance for companies that have yearly seminars or other once a year events. They can send up to 3 emails per year for two years. If the recipient does not resubscribe(by replying to the email with the word SUBSCRIBE or clicking a subscription link in the email), then the company must stop after 2nd year or 6th email. This allows yearly seminar companies to continue to touch base with interested persons while preventing spam. If the recipient attends the event, that is considered an active renewal because they did respond positively to the email.
What is false opt-in email?: A Company sends email to email address they do not have permission to use, company sends to everyone in their customer data base, company purchases email addresses from other companies of people who have not requested their specific service. These are ALL spam emails and are illegally using private email addresses. Pre-checking an opt-in box is an example of forcibly subscribing customers(pre checking opt in boxes during checkout or other passive opt-in methods),
When a customer orders from a company, the company can send a receipt, then a shipping notice, then a confirmation 'Your order shows it has been delivered or your order should have arrived by now, we hope you are happy with it' type email.
After this initial transaction email group(described above), the company may send up to 8 additional followup emails. Many marketing companies like to send up to 7 emails and have found that customers often respond to one of these once they have had an opportunity to use and review their original purchase. More than seven emails are a waste of time. If the customer purchases again, then the cycle starts over. This means that after a company sends the initial receipt and charge confirmation emails, they can send up to 8 more emails with special offers. There is no time limit on these emails but there is a strict limit of 8. More than 8 becomes spam. These emails can only be sent to a CUSTOMER which is a person who made a purchase and paid money to the website, or to an INTERESTED PERSON which is a person who requested more information on a subject by giving their contact information such as their email address. If the CUSTOMER or INTERESTED PERSON does not respond to any of the 8 followup emails, does not make an additional purchase, or does not subscribe as described previously, then the company must cease sending emails.
Giving an email address on a written application is no different than submitting it at a website. The company must send a confirmation email to that address and the receipient must click a confirmation link or reply to confirm that they want to receive offers.
Summary: If you send me email and I do not know you, I have not done business with you, I have not given you my email address and then given you permission to use it, then you are a spammer.
Any company processing payments for a known spammer may be added to our blacklist.
Text Messaging sites: banned sites include text message cellphone services that auto subscribe anyone sending them a text message and charge them from $5 to $30/month or more without a secondary voice confirmation to request their authorization to subscribe.
We will blacklist any company that sends deceptive invoices by regular mail or email. Sending look-alike invoices for services not request, not provided, valueless services, or that do not in fact exist is fraud even if it is technically in compliance with the law by stating "This is not a bill". These include bills for domain renewals by companies that are not the registrar of the domain, bills for unclear internet services such as search engine listings or submissions, and any other bill for services that the recipient did not request.
Websites are considered Fraudulent if they ship products that are clearly defective, known or should reasonably be known to be defective(selling customer returns as new), charging excessive shipping which is clearly beyond the reasonable shipping and handling costs when compared to similar sites.
Excessive complaints. We realize that large companies will generate lots of complaints simply because they deal with a lot of customers. But, sites that generate lots of fraud complaints are subject to being Blacklisted if those complaints are excessive in number or verifiable through admissions of guilt, court actions, or if they are clearly deceptive or fraudulent content used on the website or advertising materials for the website or company.
Websites must agree they will never take over the user's screen using a full screen script in an HTML page, force the browser window to become full size without asking the user, changes or attempts to change any of the users preferred settings(such as browser size or favorites), redirects web url's to sites that were not their intended destination, or any similar activity.
Malware or Trojans
Any website offering Malware or Trojan programs may be added to our Blacklist.
Software that attempts to auto download when the website is accessed is a trojan. Disguised links that attempt to download software but are not clearly labeled as download links are Trojans. Software that does not offer an uninstall option or intentionally re-installs itself or part of itself is Malware.
A trojan is any program that does something that is not clearly disclosed, that is not part of the expected function of the program, that attempts to install surreptitiously, any program that is difficult to un-install(requires special uninstall steps beyond deleting the main install folder or uninstalling through the control panel), any program that auto re-install's itself, any program that indicates it has been uninstalled but leaves files behind that are still executed during startup or by other programs, any program that gives errors during uninstall which prevent the software from being uninstalled.
All web pages that accept private information must be https ssl encrypted. If you have an order form or any personal information input form, it MUST be an HTTPS page. Your site will be automatically blacklisted and an alert will appear if it is not secure. Companies that request sensitive information over non secure pages are putting their site visitors at risk for no reason other than the fact they were too lazy to buy an SSL certificate.
This is our minimum privacy agreement. Any company that does not honor at least these minimum requirements or alert the user by email that they do not honor these conditions, will be added to our BLACKLIST.
Any company or individual who calls a private home phone number, business number, cell number, voicemail system, fax line, or any other telephone number that they were not given by the owner or authorized user of the telephone number for the purpose of making a sale(cold calling), or attempting to start a client relationship where the called person would be expected to pay the caller or the company the caller represents, is illegal telemarketing. The use of automated out-dial systems which connect an operator to the caller after the caller answres is also considered a fraudulent telemarketing call. No business or individual has a right to disrupt the private home life of anyone by calling them at home or the business activities of a business by cold calling them on their business line, or in any way interfere with another person by making phone sales calls. The federal DO Not Call list is not considered in our rule scope. It is not necessary for anyone to ask to not be harassed. The person must willingly give their phone number and specifically ask to be called. Hang up phone calls are not allowed. Any telemarketing firm or company that makes hang up telephone calls harassing innocent people will have the client they are calling for added to the blacklist.(If company X hires a dishonest telemarketing firm that makes outbound cold calls then company X will be blacklisted). Hang up calls include receiving a voicemail or answering machine and hanging up without leaving a message. If the calling company does not consider the call important enough to leave a message, they should not be calling the person anyway. If a live operator is not on the other end at the beginning of the call and awaiting an answer, then that is a fraudulent telemarketing call.
All outbound telemarketing is a blacklistable offence.
Email Marketing Companies
There are companies which claim to offer legitimate email marketing. We have never seen a single legitimate company offering such a service. We receive over a thousand emails per day, every day, from these so called legitimate email marketing firms even though we have NEVER given any of them a single email address, we have never subscribed using any of the email addresses they are sending spam to, and most of the email messages they send are to ficticious accounts.
We have special domains which have been registered and been unused for 8 years or more and these domains have never had public users therefore no legitimate company could ever send any email to any address at these domains(yet they still receive thousands of spam messages every day).
Any company using one of these services to send spam on their behalf is subject to being added to our Blacklist. If you use one of these companies and we receive a spam message which we did not EXPLICITLY and ACTIVELY request, your company WILL be blacklisted along with the thousands of others we have currently blacklisted. Any company that advertises by spam, even if they hire another company to send the spam, is DISHONEST and has stolen computer resources as well as misused private email addresses which they did not have permission to use.
Consider the consequences carefully when you chose one of these alleged legitimate opt-in email marketing companies. Most of them are no different from the fraudulent companies. Many email marketing companies lie about the opt-in status of the people they spam. That is why we receive thousands of emails per day from these so called legitimate email marketing companies. The so called legitimate email marketing companies use the exact same dishonest marketing tactics as the fraudulent spammers. Why is this? They are NOT legitimate and are fraudulent spammers who spam email addresses they have no permission to use. If you use one of these companies and we receive your advertisement, you will be blacklisted.
Some businesses may object to our limitations on telemarketing or spamming but to them we say, you are expected to be honest. Telemarketing and spamming are dishonest business practices. These activities attack and steal from people who have no interest in your site. These are not legitimate advertising methods and any company using these methods is NOT LEGITIMATE and therefore FRAUDULENT. Do not do business with any company that uses spam, telemarketing, deceptive pop ups, or any other dishonest advertising method.
Any company or website violating any of the rules listed above is subject to being BLACKLISTED. Violate these rules at your own risk.
These terms are subject to update, correction, and revision. All rule violation determinations and appeals are at the sole discretion of MyLittleMole.com.
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