Zorba the Hutt (zorbathut) wrote,
Zorba the Hutt

the ACLU fails

A while back I went out searching for good places to donate to.

I've been getting more political lately. Partially this is thanks to all the horrifying political stuff that's been in the tech world lately. Patent law, IP issues, copyright infringement, monopolies - it's been kind of a hellstorm. So I decided to go look for groups that seemed to have similar ideas to mine, and give them some money.

I ended up choosing the EFF and the ACLU. They both generally do good things, as near as I can tell. I haven't had any trouble with the EFF so I'm not going to talk about them in detail.

The ACLU, on the other hand, started sending me big envelopes giving me information on what they were doing and asking for more money. And I kind of objected to this. I'd given them money because I wanted them to, surprise, do something useful with it - not because I wanted them to beg me for more money. They also started spamming my email. I'm okay with the occasional "Hey, here's what we're doing! Your money is being well-spent dude!" email. These, however, weren't that. It was filled with "We need MORE MONEY from you, you're just not giving enough, see what we could do if you were giving us more money? Lots!" And, I mean, no. Not interested.

I went looking for a way to turn this off. Turns out, as near as I can tell, there wasn't one. You could turn off all email. You couldn't say "stop spamming me, but keep me updated on what neat things you're doing". Just wasn't possible.

I emailed them and complained. Never got a response. So I just let my donation lapse - it was a monthly donation, for a year, and I only started getting fed up near the end of the year anyway.

A few days ago they called and I explained to them that the reason I'd stopped donating was because I was tired of being spammed and annoyed. They said they understood, and tried to turn it around to "well clearly since you didn't get a response they were just following your wishes", and finally I told them that, no, I just wasn't interested, and I didn't want my money spent on telemarketing myself also, so don't call me.

They said they wouldn't.

About an hour ago they called me again.

I don't think I'm ever donating to the ACLU again. They're clearly not interested in my wishes on this matter - they just want more money. And, you know, I'm not interested in them anymore. So hey.

Every month the EFF sends me a "thank you for donating!" letter. Every year they mail me a t-shirt and a bumper sticker. (I could have turned that off, but I like t-shirts and it doesn't cut into my donation much.) That's really all I want.

Thanks, EFF. You're good people.
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