spam.jpgI know I’m not the only one who suddenly and nonconsentually got an “SFGate Biztek Newsletter” earlier this afternoon. I know this because I got four different emails from readers who said they couldn’t find a way to unsubscribe, one who said they were going to take the Gate to small claims court for spamming them, and one who said that if I (a former Chronicle employee) didn’t unmask this shocking crime they’d go tell SFist on me.

Having just trashed the newsletter when I got it, I wasn’t that incensed, myself. However, since I know SFist editor Brock Keeling’s been looking for a way to knock me off my high horse for years, I snapped into action. “But at the bottom of the email” I wrote to one “It says ‘To unsubscribe to this newsletter, or to subscribe to additional SF
Gate newsletters, please visit our newsletter administration page at‘ Did you try that?”

“Nope, that takes me to a page that shows me I am signed up for nothing,” my correspondent said. “After digging around I found a page or my account settings or
something that hand checked that I might some times get mail from them, but nowhere could I find a delete my account option.”

Clicking on the link myself, I discovered he was right. I, too, had been spammed, and I couldn’t shut it off! A shocking turn of affairs. I’m making light of a situation I know is a big deal to some of you and, yes, the fact that you can’t unsubscribe means the email is seemingly not in compliance with current laws. What a jerk I am!

A quick check with a contact at SFGate got us the information of the person who can help you if you, like us, are not signed up for any Gate emails but have gotten at least one today: John Angelico, whom you can email at IF YOU EMAIL HIM BE NICE. John’s a good guy, and he’ll help you out. Update: Commenter k2real confirms that SFGate staff is responding quickly to emails from users who don’t want to be contacted.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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  • Brock Keeling

    I’m going to knock you off said tall pony the way Alexis knocked Krystal off her racehorse, forcing her into miscarriage. In good time.

  • Eve Batey

    Brock Keeling, how dare you mock the sacred institution of motherhood like that. Just because I am 39 ON MONDAY does not mean I might not want to have a baby. And now I have to worry about you killing my baby? BANNED.

  • kl2real

    When I got it (and you know I haven’t been on SFGate for quite some time now), I sent this message to Please unsubscribe me from all communications and delete all user accounts on your site related to my email address. I haven’t used the site in over 6 months, and have no idea what my passwords are, so to require me to sign in to unsubscribe is not going to work.

    They responded pretty quickly to say I would not receive further emails. Problem solved, but this story cracks my ass up!

  • cv

    When I got it, I changed my e-mail address to my garbage collection account, the one I check about every other month or so. Frankly, I’m rather surprised to hear that they bothered answering e-mails about this incident.

  • Alex Zepeda

    Frankly I’m surprised that the Chron is going out of business.

  • Leslie

    I got the Biztek newsletter and became enraged, naturally. I clicked the link to unsubscribe only to find out that I had to sign in. I didn’t remember my username/password so I had to be reminded of my name by email and then reset my password which is emailed to you as a link. After I signed in, I made sure none of the dumbass newsletters were checked and then I updated my preferences. I was then SENT AN EMAIL confirming my updated preferences.

    A website has never been so dead to me.

  • Josh

    I’m just hoping one day sfappeal will be able to afford to pay for AP headlines, and then there won’t be a reason to ever again go to the sfgate website, or the sfexaminer.

    It’s okay, takes time, a few more employees, an intern office w/ classes for in depth journalism research, and *poof*, no more sfgate.

  • bloomsm

    The Gate spams Twitter also, with phony tweets that lead you directly to an ad page without content. Nice.

  • Erik

    So I got more spam yesterday after unsubscribing from everything a month ago. Someone must have hacked my account and re-checked the “send me spam” checkbox.