I met someone recently who seemed to share some of my technical interests and we started discussing doing some work together. However, after emailing back and forth a few times they added me to their email blast, which updates their "fans" on all their projects and events, without asking my permission. This is a source of concern to me. If they do this to me, they may well do it to anyone I happen to introduce them to. I would like somehow to politely let them to know that they should at least ask permission before they do this.

  • Does the email blast have an unsubscribe link? – Brandin Jun 17 '16 at 14:43
  • Hah, I wish. It's not any system of any kind, I'm positive they send it out manually. Even if it did, I would still consider it a serious breack of protocol. – jamesson Jun 17 '16 at 14:49
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    @Max this solution overlooks a number of problems that OP may be concerned about. For one, his email address may be exposed for everyone else on distibution to see (and spam.) – Lumberjack Jun 17 '16 at 15:35
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    @Lumberjack, thanks for adding another layer to the crap onion. I hadn't even thought of that. The problem is, I don't really feel like kicking this person to the curb yet. – jamesson Jun 17 '16 at 15:45
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    That person is an idiot. He should just be using either Twitter, LinkedIn, or a blog for that kind of update (since they're opt-in). If that person is relatively young, you should just tell him/her that. When I was younger, people told me when I did stupid things, that's how I learned. And I didn't think any less of anyone for having corrected me. Now if this person is a megalomaniac who thinks everyone should get his email updates (whether they want them, or not), then that's another problem entirely (but hopefully that's not the case). – Stephan Branczyk Jun 17 '16 at 22:49

Just a firm polite email, that says thanks for considering you for inclusion on the list, but could he please remove you. I think that's better than filtering his mails as it gives him the hint that he shouldn't automatically do this. I wouldn't worry about introducing him to others, it's unlikely they'll judge you for that


If you don't mind straining your relationship with this person, go to him and tell him flat out that you already are receiving too many email messages and if he could take you out of this distribution list. What happens to others is their own issue, not yours. You are not the email etiquette police in the office or in his circle of friends. So, stay out of making generalized statements.

If you somehow value this relationship and do not put a strain on it, just create a email filtering rule (any modern email client have these filtering rules) and put whatever comes from this person, (probably with a certain keyword in it) into a read-later folder or directly into trash. If you are filing them somewhere, and if he asks you something about the content of one of his golden pieces, you can tell him that you did not time to read it yet but will give your feedback after doing so, and go to your email archives and read it, if it is an important matter. Or you can say something like "hey, you know I gets tons of email everyday and in order not to lose it, I created this filter, it automatically files your messages in a folder for later reading", which in my opinion means "what you are sending me is garbage but due to my relationship with you, I do not have the heart to tell you that, they are garbage"

  • I mean, I probably am overthinking it, but it seems to me that it will reflect poorly on me if someone I introduce them to later experiences this. – jamesson Jun 17 '16 at 15:21
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    Unless you are in the grade school, which I doubt :), everybody you introduce to this person, have a free will to choose what they want to do. If you are concerned, warn those people about the behavior, prior to the introduction, so that they can either provide him a spam email box address when asked, or if not possible, they can voice their own opinions themselves. If they are not heeding your advice, that is not your problem. And, I agree, you are overthinking it a tad too much. – MelBurslan Jun 17 '16 at 15:27

Be direct

Make a polite request and ask them to please remove you from their email list. You could even say something along the lines of I took a look at the first couple emails, and I certainly appreciate you thinking of me, but that is not something I am interested in. Would you please remove my email from this list? Thanks!


As for people you introduce to this individual, don't be afraid to take them aside privately and advise them about the email list. Pass along the same advice to politely ask to be excluded if indeed they find themselves added to the list. It could turn out that the person added you to the list simply because of the shared interests and was acting in what they thought was in your best interests (and not merely spamming).


If all else fails, you can still filter these emails straight to archive or trash, and no harm is done to you or them.


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