Memo To Tech Recruiters: They REALLY Don’t Like You

recruiter spam trackerOne reason sourcing tech talent is such a challenge is that, let me put this delicately, many of the most talented developers and engineers don’t like recruiters.

They really don’t like you.

A blog post from two years ago is headlined “Death to Recruiters” and begins like this:

Dear technical recruiters: I hate you. As far as I can tell, the entire technical recruiting community is just a bunch of mindless spammers — and I have the proof.

That’s the same sentiment expressed a decade ago in a post headlined “Recruiters Suck.”

Don’t think for even one second that opinion has changed. Search Google with the keywords ” tech recruiter suck” and dozens of posts come up from just the last several months. There’s even a site tracking recruiter mailings. It’s

Now, a new controversy has erupted and the issues and complaints are exactly the same as they were in 2003: unsolicited emails and calls offering jobs unrelated to the tech’s interests, location, experience, or current position. The difference a decade makes is that Twitter and other social networks enabled the recipient this week of a recruiter’s mass emailing to broadcast his irritation to his 95,000 followers.

David Heinemeier Hansson
David Heinemeier Hansson

The bad luck that recruiter Nicholas Meyler had is that his job offer for a Ruby on Rails developer to work in office happened to hit the mailbox of the man who invented Ruby on Rails, David Heinemeier Hansson, on the same day his book extolling the virtues of working outside the office was released.

“Needless to say, Nicholas Meyler from Wingate Dunross sucks at recruiting,” tweeted Hansson. “If you are the SF startup who hired him, the joke is on you.”

Just hours earlier Hansson announced his book REMOTE: Office Not Required went on sale on Amazon. So besides his irritation at getting yet another email about a job he’s not interested in — he told me he averages five recruiter contacts a week — the fact the company insisted the developer work in its office pushed a final button.

“Every now and then I get fed-up,” Hansson said, pointing out the irony of his book coming out at the same time getting a job pitch with the warning, “We are not looking for any contractors, telecommuters, or people who wish to work from remote locations.”

“So atrocious,” Hansson said, insisting that the job email was spam on exactly the

same order as pitches for penile enlargement products. Just because it’s a job offer, he said, “doesn’t make it not spam… We (tech professionals) get spammed to the moon.”

Article Continues Below

Besides Hansson’s tweets, and several dozen retweets reaching thousands more, the text of Meyler’s email was posted to GitHub, a code exchange and forum for developers. One of Hansson’s followers even uncovered the client behind the job, DerbyWire, which lead to a handful of tweets mocking the company .

Nicholas Meyler
Nicholas Meyler

Despite the fallout, Meyler was utterly unrepentant. “I don’t think it is spam at all,” he said. “There are people out there who don’t have jobs who are happy to get job opportunities… I think a recruiter has the right to contact people.”

His position is that those who don’t want to receive his emails can use the unsubscribe link he includes. Or, they can just delete them.

The complaints, he said bluntly, come from only a handful of people, who are “absolutely not the people, the ones who complain are the ones we don’t want.” As if that wasn’t enough, he called the controversy, “a ridiculous thing to me to complain about.”

Meyler, who is senior vice president, technology at Wingate Dunross, an executive search firm in Southern California, said he’s used email “aggressively and well” for many years. His mass mailings get results, he said. “They are more targeted than they think.”

ruby on rails emailBut is that a best practice, especially in light of his public flogging? “It works,” he said. And as for the virality of the controversy, “I know it’s a little viral, but I wouldn’t say all that viral.” For what it’s worth, Meyler is now #1 on the recruiterspam site. (Take a look to see if you have wound up there, too.)

Though he insists the who issue involves only “a small minority of people,” Meyler said he may give up on mass mailings and use LinkedIn instead. When he’s used LI in the past it’s been an “overwhelmingly positive approach.”

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


65 Comments on “Memo To Tech Recruiters: They REALLY Don’t Like You

  1. Very nice article, John. However, you forgot to mention that Hanssen’s Wikipedia entry describes him as “crude”, “brutal”, “arrogant”, and “radical”. One also may infer that he is at least very chauvinistic, inasmuch as the main people arguing against his position (whom he accuses of being “mindless”) are women — specifically Marissa Meyer and Meg Whitman. The fact that I merely relayed the information I was requested to relay by my client (a female CEO) does not entitle him to bash me or anyone. In fact, my client is very encouraging about the possibility of hiring remote workers, but not at this early stage of the venture.

  2. Another thing I should probably mention is that I do have several thousand attorneys on my distribution list, and none of them have ever complained. I have had nothing but very positive feedback from attorneys who receive my email. If any real crime were involved, I would probably know by now.

  3. 1. I get 5x as many job offers as DHH — about 5 per day.
    2. I don’t complain about them
    3. I sent him an email about a CTO position because he is a CTO
    4. is a dubious website, with insubstantial data samples (I receive more spam in a week than all the cited ‘recruiterspam’ they list, received over years of monitoring.
    5. The same exact data listed on that site can also easily be interpreted to mean that I am the most accurate e-based recruiter they have ever encountered. They even use the words ‘wily’ and ‘top recruiter’
    6. None of the job offers I received in my sample of 4,625 emails submitted to their site corresponded to anyone on their list. This can only imply that the most active spammers are not even listed. How could that be?
    7. The amount of spam that recruiters contribute is about 1 per 10,000 emails
    8. Job offers which entail detailed and accurate information about real jobs are not spam.
    9. The CAN-SPAM laws exempt transactional and employer/employee-relationship
    based emails.
    10. My email is 100% free and easily unsubscribable
    11. Using targeted email, I have solved searches that have been open as long as six years within just 2 weeks.

    1. They may be opening them to gawk at, or they may think the email is worthwhile only to decide otherwise very quickly.

      1. That would imply that they are much less intelligent than people in other fields, then, since they continue to do it, even after multiple contacts, at a rate 2x other candidate populations. Also, given the 30 emails per month that they are accustomed to receiving, the fact that they would bother opening my emails at all would be strongly indicative that they give them preferential treatment (or else that they open all the other emails from other recruiters as well, even though they claim not to want them).

      1. No it is completely legal and I have thousands of attorneys (some working for the DOJ) on my email list, and they tell me they really enjoy my email, and none of them have ever complained. So, you are ignorant of the law, buddy. There are exemptions from CAN-SPAM for any emails about employment, and the verdict of Gordon v. Virtumundo also removed any grounds for prosecuting any kind of spam at all, in 2009. Also, all my emails are strictly compliant with CAN-SPAM anyway. You are another ignorant uninformed person trying to tell me hogwash. If it were illegal, which it is not, I would be a multi-billionaire by now by prosecuting all the spam I receive every day… Think about that for a second. I get 500 spam email a day which are non-compliant with CAN-SPAM, and I should be penalized when none of them are? When I unsubscribe everyone who asks immediately? When I spend lots of hours doing research on whom I should actually send email to? I don’t think so. What’s unethical is ignorant misinformed people telling an expert how to do his job.

        1. You obviously don’t understand what unsolicited means. If they’ve signed up for your emails that doesn’t count. As far as what about all the other spam defense, The problem is with prosecuting companies that are not us-based. The burden of proof is also a major hurdle. Since we have admission in this case it’s a slam dunk.

          Do you understand ethics? Judging by your last statement I’d say no.

          1. I understand ethics much better than a naive software developer who has never studied ethics, which I have.

          2. Interesting. Yet you lower yourself to name calling and you spam peoples emails constantly, making the internet more expensive for everybody. I actually had a couple courses in ethics, any good recruiter would be able to figure that out.

          3. “Name calling” = calling you ‘naive’, ‘misinformed’ ‘ignorant’? Those aren’t names… you slant the truth too much to be worth my time replying to.

          4. It’s all about connotation. You’re using fallacious tactics for debate.

          5. It’s nice that your degree in Musical Theater qualifies you as an expert at Law and debate more than my degree in Philosophy from Princeton or my Engineering degree, or my 25 years experience as a recruiter.

          6. You missed one of my degrees. So you can’t beat someone who has miles less schooling than you in an informal debate so you resort to poo flinging? Why don’t you actually address the issue at hand?

        2. Also Gordon v. Virtumundo is not relevant here. That case was dismissed due to the legality of the business front.

          1. This is a broken link. You obviously don’t understand what ‘an opinion’ is, anyway (to paraphrase your comment immediately below).

          2. I apologize for the shittiness of this site, but you’re a big boy, I’m sure you can do your own research.

          3. A ‘software engineer’ who doesn’t even know how to post a link online… I guess that makes you an authority on all the other things you’ve never studied, too.

  4. Unsolicited email I received today:

    I just wanted to give you a quick thumbs up on your
    recruitment emails. Even though I will likely never need your services
    (I’m just a lowly toolmaker), I look forward to seeing your name in my inbox on
    occasion. I read the position postings out of idle curiosity, but look
    forward to the prize at the end. I absolutely love the photo at the end
    of each listing. My all-time favorite so far is the Area 51 photo: the
    paradox in it just tickles my funny bone! I had it as my computer desktop
    for a while and the discomfort it caused my coworker was priceless.
    I also look forward to the “exotics” like climbing and diving as well.
    The vista photos are breathtaking, although I am sure they don’t do justice to
    actually being there. Keep ‘em coming.


  5. It astounds me that this guy has the time and patience to be all over this. Old man doesn’t understand social media much, certainly nothing about technical recruiting or the people he’s hiring. Glad I’ll never have to deal with this bafoon.

    1. Call me ‘old man’ if you like, but all that means is that when you’re my age YOU will be old. Meanwhile, I’ll probably still be competitively fencing, scuba diving, mountaineering, and still making tons more money than you ever will.

      1. I’ll be happy knowing I’ve changed the world for the better in my time and that I’ve lead a moral life.

          1. How does Alzheimer’s have anything to do with morals and achievements?

            I guess this is the end of our conversation. Enjoy hell.

          2. You obviously don’t know the meaning of the word ‘sarcasm’, and taking the ‘moral high ground’ is the most cowardly way out possible. Sartre: “Hell is other people”… I think he meant you.

  6. From WikiLaw, regarding the CAN-SPAM law:

    “The Act does NOT:

    Create a “Do Not Email registry” where consumers can place their e-mail addresses in a centralized database to indicate they do not want commercial e-mail. The law requires only that the FTC develop a plan and timetable for establishing such a registry and to inform Congress of any concerns it has with regard to establishing it. The FTC issued its report to Congress on June 15, 2004.[9] The report concluded that without a technical system to authenticate the origin of e-mail messages, a Do Not Email registry would not reduce the amount of spam, and, in fact, might increase it.

    *******Require that consumers “opt-in” before receiving commercial e-mail.******”
    I repeat, DOES NOT REQUIRE an “opt-in”. The operative phrase here is “DOES NOT.”

    So, the facts are completely obvious. DHH and others who maintain that it is illegal to send recruiting email are morons or extortionists or both.

  7. LIBEL

    The right of a free press is guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights and in Article 1 §7 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. However, this does not give people the right to say anything they want or newspapers the right to publish everything they want. Rights of defamed (slandered or libeled) persons are often held by the courts to be more important than other parties’ freedom of speech and expression. Care must be taken so the publishing of the news and peoples’ opinions do not violate the rights of others and give rise to a cause of action for libel.

    Libel occurs when a false and defamatory statement is published which tends to harm a person’s reputation or expose him or her to public hatred, contempt or ridicule. It is important to remember that defamation can be in many forms, including articles, headlines, advertising, letters to the editor, sports columns, drawings, opinions, outlines, and photographs.

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    Avoiding and Handling Libel Complaints

    The following, excerpted from pages 3-4 & 13 of the booklet Synopsis of the Law of Libel and the Right of Privacy, by Bruce W. Sanford, Esq. of Baker, Hostetler and Patterson of Cleveland, Ohio, suggests ways to avoid libel complaints.

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    How to Avoid Libel and Invasion of Privacy Lawsuits

    1. Avoid slipshod, indifferent or careless reporting. Whenever a statement could injure someone’s reputation, treat it like fire. The facts of a story should be confirmed and verified, as far as practicable and in accordance with usual news gathering procedures.

    2. Truth is a defense, but good intention in reporting an untruth is not. Remember, there may be a vast difference between what’s true and what can be proved to be true to a jury. When in doubt as to whether a story is libelous, do not publish or broadcast it until you are sure it is not libelous. Remember, a retraction is not a defense to a libel action but serves merely to mitigate or lessen damages.

    3. Make reports of arrests, investigations and other judicial or legislative proceedings and records precisely accurate, full, fair and impartial. Use of unsubstantiated information from law enforcement officers has ensnared many reporters in libel lawsuits. Limit comment or criticism to matters of public interest based on facts which are fully stated in the comment and which are true.

    4. Try to get the “other side of the story.” A good reporter sticks to the facts and not to some bystander’s opinion of what might be the truth if the facts were known. The eventual “write-up” of a story should be objective and never colored by the enthusiasms or opinions of the reporter.

    5. Particular care should be taken in publishing quotations. The fact that a person is quoted accurately is not in itself a defense to a subsequent libel action, if the quoted statement contains false information about someone.

    6. Never “railroad” a story through, but instead write it, check it out and edit it carefully to make sure it is accurate and says precisely what you want to say.

    7. Avoid borderline cases of invasion of privacy, since the law of the right of privacy is still developing.

    8. Avoid gossip and the unauthorized use of names and pictures for advertising or other commercial or promotional purposes. Use the name or picture of a person only when identified relative to the subject matter of the publication. Never use unidentified pictures to illustrate social or other conditions, when pictures of people who expressly consent, including professional models or staff members, will suffice and are readily obtainable.

    9. If an error has been made, always handle demands for retractions that come from a lawyer for a potential plaintiff with the advice of legal counsel. A well-meaning but unnecessary or poorly worded correction may actually prejudice a publisher’s or broadcaster’s defenses in a subsequent lawsuit.

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    Pennsylvania Libel Law

    Uniform Single Publication Act (42 Pa. C.S.A. § 8341 et. seq.)

    (42 Pa. C.S.A. § 8341 et. seq.)

    The law that governs libel in Pennsylvania is the Uniform Single Publication Act. As a general rule, no one may have more than one cause of action (grounds for a lawsuit) for damages for libel, or invasion of privacy founded upon any single publication, such as any one edition of a newspaper. Recovery in any libel or invasion of privacy claim shall include all damages suffered by the person and, in some cases, punitive damages.

    Basically, if a newspaper publishes only one defamatory story about an individual, there can only be one cause of action, no matter how many copies of that day’s newspaper is printed or how many people read that day’s newspaper. If a newspaper publishes similar defamatory stories on two consecutive days, even if the subject matter is basically the same, there will be two causes of action. Likewise, if a publisher publishes the same identical story in two separate publications (such as a daily and a weekly newspaper), the plaintiff will have two separate causes of action.

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    Burden of Proof (42 Pa. C.S.A. § 8343)

    In a libel case, the plaintiff has the burden of proving the following:

    (42 Pa. C.S.A. § 8343) In a libel case, the plaintiff has the burden of proving the following:

    1. The defamatory character of the communication (including printed statements).
    2. Its publication by the defendant.
    3. Its application to the plaintiff.
    4. The understanding by the recipient (such as a reader) of its defamatory meaning.
    5. The understanding by the recipient of it as intended to be applied to the plaintiff.
    6. Special harm resulting to the plaintiff because of its publication (such as impairment of reputation and standing in community, personal humiliation, mental anguish and suffering, and any other injury of which libel is legal cause).
    7. Abuse of a conditionally privileged occasion (for example, if a newspaper publishes an article that creates the impression that the plaintiff’s actions were worse than what a complaint about the plaintiff implies, Pennsylvania’s “fair report” privilege will be forfeited).

    The defendant must prove at least one the following to avoid liability for libel:

    1. The [substantial] truth of the defamatory communication.
    2. The privileged character of the occasion on which it was published (such as Pennsylvania’s “fair report” privilege).

    See: First Lehigh Bank v. Cowen, 700 A.2d 498, 26 Med. L. Rptr. 1075 (Pa.Super., 1997). (Pennsylvania’s “fair report” privilege protects newspapers when they print fair and accurate information taken from private civil complaints upon which no judicial action has been taken).

    3. The character of the subject matter of defamatory comment as of public concern (an interest of social importance).

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    Malice or negligence necessary to support award of damages (42 Pa. C.S.A. § 8344)

    (42 Pa. C.S.A. § 8344)

    In a libel action, no damages may be recovered unless it has been established that the publication has been maliciously or negligently made. When malice or negligence appears, the jury may award damages as they deem proper.

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    Defenses to Libel:

    Justification a defense (42 Pa. C.S.A. § 8342):

    If a publication is substantially true, is of public interest (some interest of social importance such as termination of public employees or other political disputes), and is not maliciously or negligently made (knowing it was false or with serious doubts about its truth) then a defense exists to any libel claims.

    Consent: Consent to publication creates an absolute privilege against a plaintiff’s defamation claim. However, the publication must be within the scope of the consent given by the defamed person. Consent of another to the publication of defamatory matter concerning him is a complete defense to his action for defamation. The privilege conferred by the consent of the person about whom the defamatory matter is published is absolute. The protection given by it is complete, and it is not affected by the ill will or personal hostility of the publisher or by any improper purpose for which he may make the publication.

    Fair Report Privilege: A case-law privilege has evolved in Pennsylvania courts that permits the press to publish accounts of official proceedings or reports even when they contain defamatory statements so long as the accounts present a fair and accurate summary of the proceedings. Reporters can publish accounts of court documents (such as complaints) and search warrants used in public investigations. The privilege will be upheld if the published account produces the same effect on the mind of the reader that the precise truth would have produced. If the published account is a fair and accurate rendition of the document used to base the story upon and does not carry a greater “sting” than the document itself, the privilege protects the newspaper from any liability for libel.

    See: First Lehigh Bank v. Cowen, 700 A.2d 498, 26 Med. L. Rptr. 1075 (Pa.Super., 1997). (Pennsylvania’s “fair report” privilege protects newspapers when they print fair and accurate information taken from private civil complaints upon which no judicial action has been taken).

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    Libel and Confidentiality:

    Libel lawsuits in Pennsylvania (and also in federal courts when a Pennsylvania libel suit is being decided) affect a newspapers right to protect confidential information. Unpublished documentary information (including a reporter’s notes) is discoverable by a plaintiff in a libel action to the extent that the documentary evidence does not reveal (or reasonably lead to the discovery of) the identity of a personal source of information or may be redacted to eliminate the revelation of a personal source of information. It does not matter whether the newspaper or reporter is a party to the lawsuit. They can still be compelled to disclose this information in a lawsuit between two other unrelated parties.

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    A historical summary of U.S. Supreme Court libel cases

    Although every libel case is different and depends on the facts in each case, there are some general rules that the Supreme Court has adopted and modified in past decisions. An understanding of these evolving rules may prove helpful to reporters, ad executives, editors and publishers making difficult decisions on potentially libelous material. Remember, both Pennsylvania and federal law apply to libel. If there is a conflict between Pennsylvania and federal law, federal law will be controlling.

    In New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 1 Med. L. Rptr. 1527 (1964), the Supreme Court established the rule that a “public official” can only recover damages for libel by proving that a defamatory statement was published either with actual knowledge of its falsity or with “reckless disregard” of whether it was true or false.

    In St. Amant v. Thompson, 390 U.S. 727 , 1 Med. L. Rptr. 1586 (1968), the Supreme Court applied these libel standards to a candidate for political office and also discussed how other courts have interpreted the meaning of the publishing with “reckless disregard as to truth or falsity.” The Court stated:

    These cases make clear that reckless conduct is not measured by whether a reasonably prudent man would have published, or would have investigated before publishing. There must be sufficient evidence to permit the conclusion that the defendant in fact entertained serious doubts as to the truth of his publication. Publishing with such doubt shows reckless disregard for truth or falsity and demonstrates actual malice.

    The Supreme Court continued with this discussion with an analysis of what a newspaper would have to show in order for a jury to find that the newspaper had not printed a defamatory statement with “reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity.” The Court stated:

    The finder of fact must determine whether the publication was indeed made in good faith. Professions of good faith will be unlikely to prove persuasive, for example, where a story is fabricated by the Defendant, is the product of his imagination, or is based wholly on an unverified anonymous telephone call. Nor will they be likely to prevail when the publisher’s allegations are so inherently improbable that only a reckless man would have put them in circulation. Likewise, recklessness may be found where there are obvious reasons to doubt the veracity of the informant or the accuracy of his reports.

    In Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts, 388 U.S. 130, 1 Med. L. Rptr. 1568 (1967), the New York Times rule for “public officials” was expanded to apply to “public figures.” “Public figures” are individuals who have either assumed roles of special prominence in the affairs of society or who occupy positions of such persuasive power and influence, or achieve general fame and notoriety that they are deemed “public figures” for all purposes or for a limited range of issues.

    In Pennsylvania the following persons have been held to be public figures: a well-known entertainer, a former professional football player, a police officer and the president of a taxi company who voluntarily involved himself in a public debate over fare increases. However, individuals drawn into a public forum against their will are not considered “public figures,” the U.S. Supreme Court found in Firestone v. Time lnc. 424 U.S. . 448,1 Med. L. Rptr. 1665 (1976). In the Firestone case, Time had published a short note on the divorce proceeding of Mrs. Firestone, a prominent Florida socialite who, during her divorce proceedings, had held a press conference.

    Likewise, in Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323,1 Med. L. Rptr. 1633 (1974), the Supreme Court explained that because “public officials and public figures usually enjoy significantly greater access to the channels of effective communications… [they] have a more realistic opportunity to counteract false statements than private individuals normally enjoy.” Thus, private individuals should be held to a lesser standard and must only prove mere negligence in a libel suit. However, in order to obtain punitive damages, a private plaintiff must meet the New York Times standard by proving that the defamation was published either with actual knowledge of its falsity, or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity. Finally, in Gertz, the court distinguished between false statements of facts and opinions. While opinions can best be countered by other opinions, “there is no constitutional protection for false statements of fact.”

    In Philadelphia Newspapers Inc. v. Hepps, 475 U.S. 767, 12 Med. L. Rptr. 1977 (1986), the Supreme Court struck down a Pennsylvania Law which had required the media defendant to prove the truth of an article as a defense to a libel claim. Now it is the plaintiff’s burden to prove falsity as well as fault rather than the defendant’s burden to prove truth.

    In Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46, 14 Med. L. Rptr. 2281 (1988), the Supreme Court found that the First Amendment precluded recovery under a claim of emotional distress for an ad parody which “could not reasonably have been interpreted as stating actual facts about the public figure involved.”

    In Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 110 S. Ct. 2695, 17 Med. L. Rptr. 2009 (1990), the Supreme Court returned to the distinction it had made in Gertz between fact and opinion. In a newspaper column accusing a wrestling coach of perjury, the Court decided that a person who published an opinion that the coach lied implied that he had knowledge of facts that led him to the conclusion that the coach lied. The court found that merely expressing such statements in terms of an opinion did not dispel the implication that it was based on fact. Thus, such a statement could be considered defamatory.

    More recently, in Mason v. New Yorker Magazine, Inc., 501 U.S. 496, 18 Med. L. Rptr. 2241 (1991), the Supreme Court determined that a deliberate alteration of a plaintiff’s words does not equal knowledge of falsity, unless the change resulted in a material change in the meaning of the statement. In other words, to be found libelous a defendant must have acted with knowledge or reckless disregard of any differences between what had been said and what was quoted.

    Remember, defamation law is an ever-evolving subject area. State and federal courts continue to make decisions that affect the rights of plaintiffs and defendants in libel cases. Any questions concerning the publication of possibly defamatory information should be directed to an attorney.

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    Red Flag Words

    adulteration of products
    altered records

    bad moral character
    buys votes

    gambling den
    groveling office seeker


    illicit relation
    insider trading

    Jekyll-Hyde personality

    kept woman
    Ku Klux Klan

    mental illness
    moral delinquency


    peeping Tom
    pockets public funds

    smooth and tricky
    sold influence
    sold out
    stool pigeon
    stuffed the ballot box


    unmarried mother
    unsound mind
    unworthy of credit

    vice den

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    Avoid any words or expressions imputing:

    a loathsome disease (sexually transmitted diseases, leprosy, etc.);

    a crime, or words falsely charging arrest, or indictment for or confession or conviction of a crime;

    anti-Semitism or other religious, racial or ethnic intolerance;

    connivance or association with criminals;

    financial embarrassment (or any implication of insolvency or want of credit);


    membership in an organization which may be in disrepute at a given period of time;

    poverty or squalor;

    unwillingness to pay a debt.

  8. I don’t understand this dialog… first of all, I’m sure Nicholas Meyler is a good person who perhaps made a mistake, though I’m surprised he would engage in this discussion in such a manner. It seems more appropriate that someone… for heaven’s sake someone.. would offer a solution; because clearly there’s a problem. I’ve performed several tech interviews over the past few years, and I do say… something’s wrong. I would say that 90% of the candidates handed to me by supposedly reputable agencies are not even remotely qualified. What’s up with that. So I would ask Mr. Meyler exactly what it is he does, but more importantly, how can can we help [him] do it better…. maybe that dialog would be helpful.

    1. I doubt that you can afford to pay for my work, but it sounds like you understand that most recruiters are pretty terrible at it… which is good news for me. It’s also a reason for sore losers like dhh to lash out at the recruiters who are both smarter and better educated than him who are stealing his people and rejecting his best friends as lousy candidates with sub-normal intelligence.

  9. DHH’s words are really nasty comments which reflect negatively mostly on himself. I was initially puzzled about this, but the following medical study of serious mental illness in software engineers helped to explain… .
    Meanwhile, I have many friends who are elite software engineers who would never stoop to this kind of conduct, and I’ve spent at least a thousand hours myself learning to code in Fortran, Watfiv, Snobol, Pascal, Basic, PL1, some LISP, and Monroe calculator machine language, starting when I was 12. I read Mikhail M. Botvinnik’s “Computers Chess and Long-Range Planning” when I was 13, which is a text by a World Chess Champion and Computer Scientist.

    1. In general, the only people who complain about “Spam” are the ones who truly have something to hide. They are really trying to prevent communication between consenting parties who have legitimate business to conduct. It does sound like ROR is a joke, based on the behavior of its inventor. Calling job email ‘spam’ is partly true, to the extent that calling a diamond ‘a piece of carbon’ is true, but it’s an extreme stretch of the truth.

  10. Scientific Experiment: Using Google Chrome, I did a search for “Recruiters are great”, vs. “Recruiters suck”. The first won out with 47,500 results, while the second (also entered in quotes) had only 2,580 results. I am pretty encouraged by that!

  11. Interesting Tallies for “John Zappe sucks”: 2,460,000 results; “DHH sucks”: 78 results; “Nicholas Meyler sucks”: 1 result (posted by the guy who sucks 78x as much and republished by the guy who sucks 2,460,000x as much).

  12. ISIS published this interesting video called “Death to Reporters” not so long ago, which featured some American journalist being beheaded, “tweeted” out to about a billion people. Let me put this delicately, would it be appropriate for me to write an article about how amusing it would be to see John Zappe lynched, vivisected and decapitated? Only a truly sick and corrupt publication would publish such drivel as the article above, perhaps best described as ‘crayoning outside the lines’.

  13. Spam filters are so effective (95% efficiency) that anything that gets through a spam filter is unlikely to be spam. Job opportunities with 7-figure potential earnings are not spam. Software engineers and self-proclaimed ‘tekkies’ who aren’t smart enough to stop spam from getting in their inboxes make lousy candidates because they have no skills. Software engineers who can’t tell the difference between a job for a PhD and penile enlargement pills are idiots. “Scientists” who back up their assertions with fake statistics that can be shown to be fraud with simple division are puerile and not worthy of being respected, anyway. Case closed. The Fordyce letter is no longer respected, either.

  14. I notice that the editor removed some of my comments regarding the ill-repute of this journal, which only goes to show conclusively that they “can dish it out, but they can’t take it” themselves.

  15. Is it just me or will Alexander Loveridge from Computer Futures only be happy when he sends SPAM about every role he has to every man, women and child (or working age or not) in the UK? I’m pretty sure even my dear old Mum (aged 67) and my 10 year-old nephew got his creepy spam circular about the Junior Java Developer role in Coventry. Please, Computer Futures, tell this lazy chump (Alexander Loveridge) to actually do some proper candidate research rather than spam the entire UK workforce.

  16. Spamdexing

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    For spam on Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Spam and Wikipedia:WikiProject Spam.This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (February 2013)

    In computing, spamdexing (also known as search engine spam, search engine poisoning, Black-Hat SEO, search spam or web spam)[1] is the deliberate manipulation of search engine indexes. It involves a number of methods, such as repeating unrelated phrases, to manipulate the relevance or prominence of resources indexed in a manner inconsistent with the purpose of the indexing system.[2][3] It could be considered to be a part of search engine optimization, though there are many search engine optimization methods that improve the quality and appearance of the content of web sites and serve content useful to many users.[4] Search engines use a variety of algorithms to determine relevancy ranking. Some of these include determining whether the search term appears in the body text or URL of a web page. Many search engines check for instances of spamdexing and will remove suspect pages from their indexes. Also, people working for a search-engine organization can quickly block the results-listing from entire websites that use spamdexing, perhaps alerted by user complaints of false matches. The rise of spamdexing in the mid-1990s made the leading search engines of the time less useful. Using unethical methods to make websites rank higher in search engine results than they otherwise would is commonly referred to in the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) industry as “Black Hat SEO.”[5]

    Common spamdexing techniques can be classified into two broad classes: content spam[4] (or term spam) and link spam.[3]

  17. This is obviously an unfair article where the author is permitted to say “Death to Recruiters” but won’t allow the retort “Death to bad Journalists.” Excellent proof of malicious intent.


    Journalists should:

    – Explain ethical choices and processes to audiences. Encourage a civil dialogue with the public about journalistic practices, coverage and news content.

    – Respond quickly to questions about accuracy, clarity and fairness.

    – Acknowledge mistakes and correct them promptly and prominently. Explain corrections and clarifications carefully and clearly.

    – Expose unethical conduct in journalism, including within their organizations.

    – Abide by the same high standards they expect of others.

  19. In the United States it is enormously difficult to remove allegedly defamatory information from the internet. A victim can take the expensive and time-consuming step of suing the author for defamation in court. However, even if a court rules that the statement is defamatory—that is, that the published statement is false and harmful to the subject’s reputation—the victim’s remedy is usually monetary damages. U.S. courts do not generally order that the speech be removed from the internet, out of First Amendment concerns regarding the prior restraint of speech. Even if a victim were to present the website’s registrar with the court’s finding of defamation, registrars are protected by the Communications Decency Act and are under no obligation to remove the offending content (although some registrars will, as a matter of internal policy).

    The Texas Supreme Court recently issued a pioneering opinion which alters the legal landscape, at least as it applies to cases brought in Texas. In Kinney v. Barnes plaintiff Robert Kinney, a legal recruiter, left his employer BCG and started a competing company. BCG’s president Andrew Barnes later posted a statement on various websites accusing Kinney of participating in a kickback scheme. Kinney sued, not for monetary damages, but for an injunction requiring Barnes to remove the defamatory statements, and prohibiting him from making similar statements in the future. The trial court declined to grant the injunction and granted Barnes summary judgment on this issue, and the court of appeal affirmed, both finding that an injunction would be an unconstitutional restraint on prior speech.

    On appeal to the Texas Supreme Court, however, Texas’ highest court distinguished between statements that had already been published and those that might be made in the future. The court declared that where a statement has been adjudicated by a court and found to be defamatory, the court may issue an injunction requiring the author to remove the speech from places where he had already published it. The decision does not limit an individual’s freedom to make the same or similar statements in the future because, “[g]iven the inherently contextual nature of defamatory speech…the same statement made at a different time and in a different context may no longer be actionable.” The Texas Supreme Court believes that this limited remedy strikes the proper balance between removing unprotected defamatory speech and upholding individual’s rights to speak freely in the future.

    This case is seen as a victory for victims of defamatory speech, whose personal or business reputations have been ruined by false accusations that remain on the internet even after a court found them to be untrue, harmful, and unprotected. While the case only serves as biding precedent in Texas, other courts may look to this decision for guidance when determining how to protect individuals’ or businesses’ reputations from false past attacks while preserving the freedom of speech to criticize or otherwise speak about those same people or entities in the future.

    R.I.P. Fordyce Letter: Driven into the ground by an unwise editor.

  20. The law is extremely clear that extortion or coercion (threats of harassment, hatred, libel, slander, etc. against anyone conducting business and exercising freedom of speech under his perfectly legal Constitutional rights) is completely prohibited — which is what David Heinemeier Hansson did, and what John Zappe publicly aided and abetted, thereby satisfying the requirements for Criminal Conspiracy according to Federal Law. Moreover, since David Hansson is not of US origin, based upon this rash act, he can be permanently barred from US citizenship. I haven’t seen any native-born Americans making such enormous mistakes, except for John Zappe.

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