Monday, November 30, 2015

10 years ago: "Street spam, sign sharks and the sheer joy of litter removal."

The following was published at NAC on December 1, 2005. It was the beginning of my sign sharking career, and while cumulative totals are not known, I'd estimate the number of signs personally confiscated and destroyed during the past decade to be in the range of 400. 

This is where it started. The CAUSS site is still active, although the forum is down. 


Street spam, sign sharks and the sheer joy of litter removal.

Here’s a far too common scene around town.

No doubt you've grimaced at the many "Buys Houses" signs, both on utility poles and in medians or along city streets. The circus posters were put up in September, and many still can be seen, rotting, where they were stapled.

These are examples of "street spam."

Q: What is Street Spam?

A: Street Spam is the term for illegal signs along roadways, at intersections, on traffic signs or utility poles, and even on private property. Illegal street signs are also called vertical litter, bandit signs, snipe signs, utility pole advertising and stuff on a stick (SOS). The signs may advertise local businesses, multilevel marketing schemes selling weight loss products, health insurance, sample sales, landscaping services and even pet waste removal services. Some of the most common spam signs have the come-on Work at Home, Work From Home, I Lost 30 Pounds in 30 Days, Have a PC, We Buy Houses, Affordable Health Insurance, Budget Health Plans, and Going Out of Business.

The preceding definition comes from the FAQ section of the Citizens Against Ugly Street Spam web site.

Until reading the CAUSS FAQ, I wasn't aware that I'm a "sign shark." During city walks, "street spam" has a way of coming off in my hands. As noted by CAUSS, illegal signage (exceptions being legitimate realtor's signs and the like) is nothing more than litter -- and who doesn't believe in picking up litter?

For a similar perspective, and abundant photographic evidence of the targets as identified by these and various other like-minded campaigns, visit Atlanta Street Spam Eradication Campaign.

Anyone for a "sign shark" roaming walk some afternoon?

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