Saturday, April 24, 2010

A worthless post on the nature and cause of spamming - with due apologies to Adam Smith

Every day morning, my one sure chore is this – open Blogger after dodging the net nanny and delete the couple of spam comments that my blog has attracted. Irritation has started to give a little way to intrigue - who are these guys and gals and what are they trying to do ??

These days common email services such as Hotmail, Yahoo and Google have pretty good spamguards; so the number of spam emails can be controlled. Of course the majority of emails in the world are spam – some 60-80% of all emails in the internet is spam ; says something about human nature doesn’t it. But Blogger, for some reason, doesn’t seem to have a spam guard. Presumably it views blogs like mine as virtually indistinguishable from the nonsense that is spam.

One variety of spammers are the scamsters . Nigerians had a dominant market share in this market, but the business is now truly global. I would have thought anybody in this world will now delete messages titled- “Congratulations you have just won the lottery:”, without a second thought, but obviously I am wrong. There must be enough suckers on earth for this sort of spamming to be worth the while for scamsters.

Second are the Viagra proponents. I don’t think any product is as advertised in the spamming world as Viagra. I have no clue why. I know the male species suffers from many inadequacies, but I had not realised that this particular shortcoming was an epidemic of such proportions.

Third, and probably biggest is pure porn. All sorts of varieties of porn. Its another telling commentary on human nature that porn is by far the most successful business model on the internet and the largest topic of search on Google, etc etc. Not a great testimonial to our race.

The fourth category are the oddballs. I consistently get spam that says something like “Thank you for the post that was very valuable in doing my homework”. Another one says “My English is not very good”. Now why on earth would somebody bother spamming a message like that.

Surprisingly I rarely seem to come across political spam. I would have thought Free Jerusalem or Kashmir Independence would be attractive for spammers, but I don’t seem to have ever seen them. Not even Palin for President !!

Maybe I should try spamming a little bit to “experience” the phenomenon, for I cannot even begin to understand it. If you see an Email or a comment in your blog titled “Free movie tickets for night show in Devikala theatre donated by Gils”, you’ll know who it is from !