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You’ve Got Spam is an email widget that will destroy email inboxes around the world

Nigerian Princes don’t have time to check email anyway.

spam them back gmail feature
Image: MSCHF

There are two kinds of emails that enter our inboxes every day: trash and spam. Our recourse with one is to delete them, or email Kevin back. Our recourse with the latter is to hope that our spam filter catches it, moves it to the spam folder, never to be seen again. Or, thanks to the You’ve Got Spam widget, we can just spam them back.

While the intent of this widget — announced today in the Hustle newsletter, which was taken over by MSCHF — is to harass spammers, there’s nothing stopping people from using it maliciously. Anyone who emails you can be subjected to an automatic subscription to tons of lists with just the click of a button. So, that should be fun as this widget finds its way into Gmail accounts across the internet. Fun, as in insufferable.

Sure, we get a lot of spam and that’s nice, but spammers don’t care about getting spam back. It’s all automated. So if your desired effect is a visceral response from a human, click away.

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You’ve Got Spam is the featured widget in MSCHF’s magazine, volume three. It has the potential to become the most annoying widget in the history of widgets. While it says on the site to “use responsibly: only intended to attack cold-email marketers” there is nothing that prevents it from being used on anyone as the concept of “unwanted email” is a completely subjective one.

Should I use it on every PR person who pitches me nonsense? Should I use it on every family member who sends me dumbass boomer forwards? The answer to both those questions is yes.

There isn’t much more to say here. There are super official ways to fight spam that are super boring and untenable. Then there is this wildly annoying, obnoxious, and inbox-zero brutal solution. So which will you choose?

What do you think? Could you see yourself using this spam widget? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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A tech writer on the internet for over 15 years for outlets such as Forbes, Wired, TNW, and others, Curtis is exhausted, burnt out and happy to just write buying guides and the occasional review for KnowTechie, the best tech blog your mom never told you about. Ephemeral existence for ephemeral times. Please send pitches and grainy pictures of the inside of your elbow to kevin@knowtechie.com

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