I once wrote a post about people who give out other people’s phone number’s to anyone who would ask without permission first (post). It’s annoying, vulgar, and every bit an invasion on individual’s privacy especially if it’s not a business phone number. If giving out people’s private phone number’s without permission is bad, giving out their private emails is just as bad.
When people contact me on the blog, there is a contact form without a direct email address for a reason. At first I thought to myself why, let the email be public for everyone to use, right? That was my perspective until the day companies and marketing agencies began to contact me, and I replied. More than once, a few too many time to my dislike actually, after I reply to a company regarding anything, I find myself subscribed to a newsletter where I receive endless notification about products or services and I would have to go unsubscribe myself from it. When I replied to your email, it was because I wanted to reply to your query and NOT to be entered into your database to receive one million and one newsletters!
The etiquette of giving out and sharing people’s emails should be the same as the etiquette of giving out and sharing people’s private phone numbers. Do not distribute emails without their owner’s permission. Do not enter those emails in a newsletter they would have to subscribe from later without permission. And do not fill our mailbox with press releases out of the blue just because you heard X is a blogger who may or may not be interested in posting about every little thing you distribute to all other newspapers and media outlets. Also, we would appreciate it when you send an email to more than one person that you’d use the BCC option rather than the To or CC especially when people start replying to the email by pressing “Reply to All” and all of us keep getting snippets of your electronic conversation when we weren’t interested in what you had to say in the first place.
Have you ever given out someone’s email without checking with them first? Have your email ever given to someone or entered in a newsletter without your permission?