How Silly Are Those Email Disclaimers?



When you send me an email, don’t bother adding the disclaimer ordering someone to delete the message you may have accidentally sent.  It looks like the Economist agrees with me on that here.

If you are going to add a disclaimer add something more like

This e-mail contains public information intended for any subscriber of this mailing list and for anybody else who bothers to read it; it will be copied, disclosed and distributed to the public. If you think you are not the intended recipient, please commit suicide immediately.
These terms apply also to any e-mails quoted in, referenced from, or answering this e-mail, and supersede any disclaimers in those e-mails.
Additionally, disclaimers in those e-mails will incur legal processing fees of $42 per line; you have agreed to this by reading this disclaimer.”

“By sending an email to ANY of my addresses you are agreeing that:
1. I am by definition, “the intended recipient”
2. All information in the email is mine to do with as I see fit and make such financial profit, political mileage, or good joke as it lends itself to.
3. I may take the contents as representing the views of your organisation.
4. This overrides any disclaimer or statement of confidentiality* that may be included on your message.
* If you’re serious about confidentiality, use encryption. My PGP key fingerprint is …”

Strangely, the Economist wrote the opinion piece but one of their friends posted their disclaimer

Practice what you preach…….

This e-mail may contain confidential material. If you are not an intended recipient, please notify the sender and delete all copies. It may also contain personal views which are not the views of The Economist Group. We may monitor e-mail to and from our network.

Sent by a member of The Economist Group. The Group’s parent company is The Economist Newspaper Limited, registered in England with company number 236383 and registered office at 25 St James’s Street, London, SW1A 1HG. For Group company registration details go to

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