CAUSS Guidelines

CAUSS - Citizens Against Ugly Street Spam

CAUSS Guidelines for Sign Sharks:

Our mission is to put an end to the notion that littering our communities with commercial advertising signs is an acceptable method of promoting business. We are dedicated to eradicating our streets of this unsightly litter and assisting the code enforcement officers in enforcing the ordinances. Our message to the street spammers is: "Your signs will not be tolerated in our neighborhoods."

The displaying of street spam on our easements, utility poles or anywhere in our cities is abuse of our environment. It is important for us to understand that we are here to eliminate abuse, not to exchange one abuse for another. We are performing a community service and need the support of the citizens and the officials. For these reasons, we have developed some simple guidelines:

• DO NOT LITTER. If you choose to remove the phone number or URL from the signs, please dispose of the scraps and do not leave them lying on the ground. If you remove a sign from the ground or utility pole, dispose of the sign and the nails. We do not wish to replace one type of litter with another.

• DO NOT HARASS. There is no problem in calling the spammer to advise him/her that we have removed their signs, but please keep it civil. Name-calling, profanity, threats and the like are simply lowering ourselves to their level. A suggested email or phone script would go something like this: "Hello, I just wanted to let you know that we have removed XX of your illegal signs today. Please visit us at to learn more about why your signs are unacceptable. Have a nice day".

• DO NOT BLOCK TRAFFIC. Please try not to block traffic while cutting/removing signs. Pull into the closest parking lot, or up on the easement instead of stopping in a traffic lane. If you see a sign in a congested area that is difficult to find a place to park, try coming back for it late at night when the traffic has died down. When parking off the street, use caution so not to allow your vehicle to be blocked in.

• DO NOT BECOME INVOLVED IN A CONFRONTATION. The spammer will more than likely become irrational when observing you removing his/her signs. Try not having eye to eye contact, walk away if they approach you. If they persist, call 911 and ask for a police officer be dispatched immediately, that you're being threatened.

• DO NOT ENGAGE IN FLAME WARS ON USENET. The street spammers have adopted a strategy of posting anti-CAUSS threads on news groups, in the hopes of luring us into a flame war. Most of what they post is twisted out of context, or downright lies. While it is perfectly fine to post polite rebuttals, it is undignified and self destructive to resort to name calling and insults. Let's not lower ourselves to their level.

• GUIDELINES FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE FORUM. The purpose of the forum is to help "sharks" as well as Law Enforcement Officers communicate in achieving the stated objectives of CAUSS.

Lengthy conversations between individuals should be taken off list (Personal Messages (PM's) may be used). PM's shall not be copied to the list without permission of the original author.

The subscriber posting any copyrighted material in its entirety, with or without reference to the author, is assumed to have express permission from the copyright holder. Otherwise, it is standard practice to post only relevant "fair use" excerpts with name of author, commentary and a URL.
Be polite and respect the right of others expressing a different opinion on an issue. Respect the feelings of others and consider if you would want to receive such a message. A sense of humor and a willingness to listen will benefit the list.

Forum posts will not be tolerated that contain mean-spirited and rude comments, profanity, "flames", personal attacks, badgering, sexually explicit language, racial epithets, remarks defaming political parties, or derogatory or defamatory content in any form.

Before sending a message or post, reread your post and rewrite if you have any doubts about the content. Should you have any reservations about your message after the edit time has expired, request a Moderator or Director to delete your message. This request will be honored without question. Check your inbox for any new messages on the topic before sending your reply.

When you reply to a message that has been posted, it is all too easy to automatically include the entire message you are replying to. Unless it is very brief, it is common courtesy to trim all but the most salient parts of the message to which you are replying.

The forums are monitored and violations of these standards are cause for removal of posts, locking of threads and censure. For a more complete guide on Internet Etiquette, please see Netiquette.

Let's continue to eliminate this problem in a responsible and civilized manner. We should always strive to maintain the moral and legal high ground.