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Discussion on: Save the planet, clean your mailbox

byrro profile image
Renato Byrro

I'm in favour of email services charging $0.02 per email sent. Recipients as beneficiaries.

It would reduce waste by a large portion. Worse than carbon, its human time lost on tons of useless messages...

adamcosi profile image

Interesting idea and I know the idea comes from good intentions, yet I don't see it working primarily because of:

  • who decides and sets the rate (central control, yet another "reach" by government)
  • this excludes people who are not financially well to do (developing countries/poor)
  • putting a paywall around one of the last truly free means of communication (from the origin of the Internet's early days) that no single body

People already pay enough for:

  • Internet Service
  • Mobile Phone Service

Fees for the above services already factor in wholesale bandwidth.

If we go down this path we may as well charge for:

  • Messenger
  • WhatsApp
  • Twitter Posts
  • Facebook Posts
  • Instagram Posts
  • Blog comments (like the one I'm writing now)

Give them an inch and they (the powers that be) will take a mile, eventually.

Why not focus on bigger wins such as Video and Audio streaming services?

  • Does every video need to be available in 1080p?
  • Every song in 256kbps/320kbps?

Watch less, listen to less, consume less - sounds like a good idea of course until we realise that not everyone uses these mediums the same way and that means some people will be penalised over others.

Definitely agree on reducing your email footprint but once we start imposing fees per send then slope gets very slippery and it becomes ripe for corruption and gate keeping while potentially not having the result we want.

byrro profile image
Renato Byrro

It should be an optional feature available for email users.

When someone sends a message, they'll receive an auto-reply asking to pay the fee. The message would stay in a cache for a few days, then auto-deleted if the fee is not paid. A "whitelist" would allow friends & family to bypass the paywall.

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metalmikester profile image
Michel Renaud

That doesn't solve the problem. Horrible idea no matter how anyone looks at it, sorry. This has way more downsides than upsides.

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byrro profile image
Renato Byrro

Sorry, but isn't anyone quite a few people for you to speak on behalf of? Would solve my problem... But I agree it's not a good-looking idea 😉