Although she appreciated the sentiment, Shiksaa wasn’t entirely comfortable with being called an anti-spam goddess. She knew that long before she received her first junk email message, several other women had already distinguished themselves as elite anti-spam activists. Among the established luminaries was Kelly Molloy Thompson, a Washington State resident who for several years had been the public face of spam fighting and was quoted widely in press reports on the topic.
But in the late summer of 2001, during a seismic shift in the world of spammer block lists, Thompson did something that would force Shiksaa and other junk email opponents to rethink Thompson’s place in the anti-spam pantheon.
As early as 1998, with her round face, coiffed hair, and perky smile, Thompson came across more like a kindergarten teacher than an anti-spam fanatic. That made her the perfect spokesperson for the handful of spam busters who decided to picket a Seattle car dealer in May 1998. Led by the 31-year-old Thompson, the protestors stood outside Aurora Nissan on a busy suburban Seattle street. They held up hand-lettered signs to passing motorists, decrying the car dealer’s use of a contract spammer to send unsolicited email ads to thousands of Seattle Internet users.
Thanks to some savvy advance PR work by Thompson, the unusual protest was covered by the national media, which quoted her on the evils of spam, and eventually resulted in a public apology from the ...