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Knowledgebase: Spam/Email Filters
What is spam and why is it bad?
Posted on 22 November 2003 07:14 AM

Spam is a term commonly applied to unwanted, unsolicited, or "junk" email, not to be confused with the pink luncheon meat from Hormel, SPAM. The amount of spam sent to email users is increasing percentage-wise over time, and threatens to drastically weaken or destroy the email infrastructure tasked with delivering the millions of emails sent every day.

Email is a very convenient and appealing medium for marketers and promoters because it is quick and inexpensive. The problem is that so many people have started to take advantage of email for marketing and promotion purposes that the amount of promotional email being sent is staggering. An obvious result of unwanted email is that it wastes the time of the recipient. However, there are other serious, and perhaps not as obvious, consequences as well.

To deal with the large amount of spam delivered daily on the Internet (conservative estimates say that currently 30% of email is spam), Internet Service Providers have to spend extra money on larger mail servers that can handle this extra volume of mail. They have to spend time to implement filtering solutions or deal with customer complaints. These costs are passed on to the customer.

Resources for a General Introduction to the Problem of Spam:

Abuse.net's General Information Page for Spam
Best Practice in Email Spam Prevention and Eradication
CAUCE - Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email
Spam Category at the Open Directory Project
The SPAM-L FAQ
SpamLaws.com
Spam Delenda Est