A few days ago I ranted about a poll announced by CREDO, called Bracket of Evil, where participants can select among pairs of candidates for “the most malevolent forces in American politics.” I noted that aside from some instant gratification, villainizing individuals does nothing constructive in our current hateful moment, voting in the site seemed to lead to tons of spam from CREDO thanking me for voting.
Eventually I found an address, firstname.lastname@example.org, and wrote them complaining about the spam. A day or so later I got a nice note from “Kate” suggesting that I must have forwarded those emails to lots of friends and every time one of them used the link to go to the Bracket of Evil site, and voted, it generated another thank you note to me.
Well, I never forwarded the site to friends because I don’t really care for that kind of approach, but I did forward the link to a widely read blog and posted it here without realizing, as “Kate” told me, that the link included an identifier that told CREDO that the voter was responding to my email. When my friend edited the link on his blog, Bifurcated Rivets, the torrent of emails stopped immediately. I am not certain I like CREDO using my info that way, and I still don’t think much of the concept behind Bracket of Evil but I apologize for maligning CREDO and thank Kate wherever she is.