Lets get one thing clear - SPAM is very bad. Spam is demeaning, intrusive, frustrating, etc. However, the reaction to Spam is defeatist, Luditist, intrusive and reactionary.
Firstly, lets look at the reality of Spam; you download your emails, you delete the Spam.
Come on, are they that hard to identify? Is the email from Aunt Dot injured by the Spam? Do you have to spend hours reading each one to the bitter end to guess it is spam?
Email programmes come with a button called - DELETE; so delete - end of the matter. I hear you whinning: "but they take so long to download"; "they fill my inbox"; "they contain pornography", etc. One answer: Delete.
Actually, the porn Spam does present a bigger problem- for children of course, and the degree of insult they produce. To be honest, if your email is privacy protected, which it should be, then these problems can be partially avoided as well.
By the way, Spamhaus, a major Spam identifier, notes that 80% of Spam originates with just 20 groups.
So how does everyone suffer from over-reaction when dealing with Spam? How many genuine emails get blocked by Spam walls? I will use some examples of personal experience to show you the problems.
I have had important emails blocked just because I used an ISP that one of the 20 gangs had used for a period. This ISP was actually the major telephone service for a country, one that about 50% of the country's residents used. Great response: close half a country's international emails.
I have had emails blocked because I used the word, 'free'. My project, is a free resource on the Internet. Now I cannot say free, and hundreds of schools write to me to ask if my Project is free. I have also had emails blocked because I said, "For adults working with children"; NO adults, obviously pornography.
A professor at a University asked me about my Project; he was considering doing research with me, but I could not reply to him: intrusive Spam wall.
How many international websites today do not include any email contact details, or go to great lengths to hide them? What is the point of a website if you cannot respond and communicate with the owner? Am I expected to make international phone calls, send letters, snail mail?
I can go on. The bottom line is that our fears of using a delete button have allowed us to start to lose one of the great technology innovations of this era: email.
Email is better than great: it is better than landing on the moon. How did we live without email? This amazing technology is being murdered by ourselves and our ridiculous, stupid over-reaction.
Weigh the good of email and the cost of Spam; the balance is wrong. Wake up! To join the fight AGAINST the spam lords