Once upon a time, the footer of emails from Area 51 (e.g. when a proposed site you follow moved to commitment phase) looked like this:

email footer with link to unsubscribe

There was a clear link to unsubscribe. All good.

However, today I noticed this has been changed:

email footer with no link to unsubscribe

I am pretty sure we can still unsubscribe by going to the "old" link manually, but the link is not sent in the email anymore.

Can the link please be added back, for those who want to unsubscribe easily?

  • 1
    I believe that link is required by the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act, so it might be legal trouble for SE. Dec 11, 2017 at 11:09
  • @gparyani huh. Well, not going to sue them myself but guess it justifies calling the heavy guns i.e. pinging Shog. Dec 11, 2017 at 11:30
  • The change dates back to a July 12th commit with the comment, "remove unsubscribe links from emails that shouldn't have it". So, presumably, this particular email shouldn't have it, although given there's still an option to opt out of these emails on the Area51 profile preferences page, I don't know why we wouldn't offer it. I've pinged the person responsible for the change and requested more details.
    – Shog9
    Dec 11, 2017 at 21:14
  • @Shog9 thanks, personally I don't really care for it not being there (more curious as to why it changed), but as Ano mentioned it might be illegal. Dec 11, 2017 at 21:19
  • 1
    IANAL, but it probably isn't; you don't get these emails unless you first follow or commit to a proposal, so there's probably an argument to be made that they're relationship/transactional emails. That said... Since there's totally an option to follow or commit without getting them (an entire tab on your user profile is devoted to that one option...) it seems kinda pointless not to make it easy.
    – Shog9
    Dec 11, 2017 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


Talked to the developer responsible here; the original plan was to integrate the Area 51 opt-out process into the new system used by the other sites... But, this hasn't happened yet and may not happen for a while.

So the change has been reverted and should now be live. Future emails from Area 51 will again contain a quick "unsubscribe" link that simply turns off email notifications for proposals you've followed or committed to.

As I said in the comments above, there should be no legal ramifications here; we're not spamming people with emails for proposals, you'll only get 'em if you've gone out of your way to follow or commit to a proposal (at which point, further communication regarding the progress of the proposed site should be expected and would fall outside of the marketing definition used by CAN-SPAM). Nevertheless, it is an expected convenience, and given the option still exists to opt-out of these on-site...

checkbox on prefs page of Area 51 profile, reading: "I'd like email notifications of activity on proposals I'm following or committed to"

...it seems appropriate to also provide it in the actual emails.

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