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371 comments

1 in 10? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12030537)

That's an average right? Because I can't see how 10% of people have bought stuff from spam. I think that guy who likes buying spam stuff is driving the average up.

Re:1 in 10? (1)

DesertBlade (741219) | about 9 years ago | (#12030577)

I think it may have been 1 in 10 at some time. I don't know anyone who would purchase anything through an email nowadays.

Re:1 in 10? (4, Funny)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | about 9 years ago | (#12030595)

I think that guy who likes buying spam stuff is driving the average up.

BTW, I would like to make the public announcement that I have a basement filled with cases of VI@AGRA. If anyone wants any, please reply to this post, I'll be more than happy to ship some to you at a reduced cost.

Re:1 in 10? (3, Funny)

mboverload (657893) | about 9 years ago | (#12030643)

10%? pshhh!

50% voted for Bush.

Re:1 in 10? (-1, Troll)

James Dale Guckert (868708) | about 9 years ago | (#12030713)

That's because 50% of the population isn't comprised of anal-loving faggots like you.

Re:1 in 10? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12030766)

Anal sex rocks. I love it when my hot man-lover really gives it to me up the bum.

Mmmmm...

Re:1 in 10? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12030780)

I sure do love my anus. It allows me to shit. Are you one of those misanalists?

Hey (non-)fucker (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12030825)

Some of us voted for Bush AND shove it up (our) asses. I've always wondered how eunuchs sound in bed, so can I do you next?

Re:1 in 10? (-1, Flamebait)

aspx (808539) | about 9 years ago | (#12030860)

This is the most flamebait post I have seen in a while. It is such flamebait that it may in fact be a singularity that ends up destroying the universe with its awesome power.

Of course the grandparent was flamebait too.

Re:1 in 10? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12030714)

51%, you dried up nutsack

Probably understated (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 years ago | (#12030716)

Re:1 in 10? That's an average right? Because I can't see how 10% of people have bought stuff from spam. I think that guy who likes buying spam stuff is driving the average up.

Probably understated because guys who buy those pills probably don't own up to it. Especially people who get taken are less likely to admit, so it's probably a bit higher percentage.

Personally, I refuse to buy anything via spam and don't even open the stuff. Anyone who will resort to such unethical mode of advertising is not to be trusted in any case.

Re:1 in 10? (1)

NoGuffCheck (746638) | about 9 years ago | (#12030732)

1 in 10 is total bullshit. The use of statistics in this way is an old marketing trick. Keep telling the consumers that many others are buying and maybe they will aswell. The fact is, it doesnt take anywhere near as much as 1 in 10 to make spam profitable for a business that send out millions of emails a day.

Re:1 in 10? (4, Insightful)

r00t (33219) | about 9 years ago | (#12030779)

It's not a 10% response rate.
It's 10% of users having ever responded.

So if you get 123456 spams and respond 3 times,
you are counted in the 10%. If you never respond,
you are in the other 90%.

Re:1 in 10? (3, Interesting)

bitmason (191759) | about 9 years ago | (#12030843)

In addition, you have to wonder what ended up counted as "spam" in the survey. There's lots of bulk email that's legitimate insofar as the recipient checked a box (and didn't uncheck one) once upon a time. One wonders if some recipients counted those too. Between the false positives and the false negatives I wouldn't put a whole lot of faith in the survey numbers. But 10% having responded at one time or another to something they referred to as spam doesn't seem totoally out of line to me.

Re:1 in 10? (1)

vwjeff (709903) | about 9 years ago | (#12030813)

If no-one responded to junk e-mail and didn't buy products sold in this way, then spam would be as extinct as the dinosaurs.

There's always going to be that one jackass who responds to spam.

Even if a spammer's bandwidth costs are more than income, they can use the millions of friendly bots to do their bidding.

go to spam island! (1)

PopeAlien (164869) | about 9 years ago | (#12030875)

People buy crap from spam?!? ok, fine, but why cant the morons that buy this junk, and the scammers that sell it just get together and leave the rest of us in peace?

Why do they have to constantly try to get around filters, steal resources, forge headers etc?

Ideally there would be an isolated island or small rock in the depths of outer space that these people could go and do their 'business' on, and leave the rest of us alone.

bah.

Just thought this was funny (3, Interesting)

kryogen1x (838672) | about 9 years ago | (#12030539)

From TFA:

"The list of words most commonly hidden by the spammers from anti-spam software reveals that most spam is about the old favourites: money, drugs and sex," said Mr Cluley.

Re:Just thought this was funny (2, Funny)

The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) | about 9 years ago | (#12030564)

"The list of words most commonly hidden by the spammers from anti-spam software reveals that most spam is about the old favourites: money, drugs and sex," said Mr Cluley.

The people buying that junk should get a Cluley.

Re:Just thought this was funny (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12030601)

"If no-one responded to junk e-mail and didn't buy products sold in this way, then spam would be as extinct as the dinosaurs."

and if no one ate at mcdonalds or pizza hut, they would also be just as extinct. or if humans stoped having sex we would also be extinct. something promotes all behavior. and if people are buying stuff from these email advertisers, then it only proves that people really do want these prducts and may not have heard of them if they did not get this "spam". so shut up and deal with it, it is here to stay no matter what you want, yes you back there watching pbs

Re:Just thought this was funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12030652)

Ahhhh... So everyone has to suffer spam for the ten percent of people who actually fall for the shit in the first place?

Re:Just thought this was funny (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about 9 years ago | (#12030824)

it only proves that people really do want these prducts


"People" may, but I sure don't. So why am I getting spam? Why don't they send it to people who want it instead?


so shut up and deal with it


Part of "dealing with it" is discussing the problem and potential solutions. So which is it? Are we to "shut up", or "deal with it"?

Re:Just thought this was funny (2, Interesting)

weighn (578357) | about 9 years ago | (#12030666)

the old favourites: money, drugs and sex

Whatever happened to my Rock and Roll?
Appols to Ian Drury and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

I replied to the spam (5, Funny)

heauxmeaux (869966) | about 9 years ago | (#12030544)

and my mortgage has never been longer or harder.

So did I (2, Insightful)

nc_yori (870325) | about 9 years ago | (#12030692)

I hear you on that. I've felt great since I decided to refinance my...kneecap *ahem*. Seriously, though, I'm often amazed at how ignorant the general public can be about Spam and junk emails. I understand that some spammers are very good at what they do, but doesn't it just make you lose faith in humanity knowing that someone, somewhere, has chosen to actually open a message titled something like "drew S0MMA, V1AAGRRA, V1C0DD1N, C1AAL1S, \/ALLIUM, XANAA, C0DE1NE, Z0LOFT AT L0W somewhere end!!!!". Wow.

Re:So did I (2, Insightful)

northcat (827059) | about 9 years ago | (#12030799)

What would you do if you see an Alien? Whatever you'd do, in million years from now, an 'Alienologist' would call it stupid. It's the same thing to a new computer/internet users. They have no fucking idea how things work. Have some respect, it's not stupidity, it's lack of knowledge and experience. Just like you and me lack knowledge and experience in *some* field.

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12030549)

first post

1 in what? (4, Funny)

danormsby (529805) | about 9 years ago | (#12030550)

But what ratio have received the $43M from an fallen African state?

Re:1 in what? (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 9 years ago | (#12030775)

But what ratio have received the $43M from an fallen African state?

It never ceses to amaze me what sort of people fall for that gag or one of its variants. I recently saw a news show on CBS about the victims of these scams. The list included and Engineer a Doctor and a Schoolteacher. You would think people with that level of education would know better? I suppose it puts some weigh behind the old adage: "...educated beyond their intelligence".

Would you like to take a survey? (5, Insightful)

MykeBNY (303290) | about 9 years ago | (#12030562)

That should really be one third of people who choose to respond to telephone calls to answer surveys. I think that is a substantial skew in their results right there.

Re:Would you like to take a survey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12030589)

Yeah awesome...

Re:Would you like to take a survey? (1)

Brockeolus (801450) | about 9 years ago | (#12030627)

Absolutely true. I can't even imagine how ridiculously skewed the results must be because of this effect. For example, how many slashdot users would even look at an e-mail saying "SPAM SURVEY. CLICK HERE!!" or respond to an analogous phone call?

Re:Would you like to take a survey? (1)

mOoZik (698544) | about 9 years ago | (#12030676)

The details of the survery were not included in the article, so I couldn't just make that assumption in the blurb. Unless I am mistaken, in which case I stand corrected.

1/10 have bought products advertised therein. (5, Funny)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 9 years ago | (#12030572)

Damn. Of the 20 people on our floor, 2 of them have succumbed to this crap. 15 of the 150 people in the company.

The clue by four is gonna get a workout tomorrow.

I wonder... (1)

jethro200 (573288) | about 9 years ago | (#12030579)

could there really be that many people out there desiring... enlargement?

Re:I wonder... (1)

SithGod (810139) | about 9 years ago | (#12030679)

Certinly at least that many desiring it. The question is how many gullible enough to fall for the scam

Re:I wonder... (1)

myheroBobHope (842869) | about 9 years ago | (#12030687)

you know, the best advice I was ever given about worrying about size was "Once it's out, it doesn't matter"... I know that's off topic and all, but it really is sound advice. The only other wisdom I can pass on came from a man standing at a trough urinal in New Orleans on Mardi Gras who informed me "There's always room for jell-o"... but that's a different story.

Hang them! (1)

ilyanep (823855) | about 9 years ago | (#12030581)

Let's hang the spammers then hang the people who click on the spam links. Or at least put them all in a ghetto in southern Italy.

Re:Hang them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12030835)

Spam will continue until we beat Spammers to death slowly on prime time TV.

Re:Hang them! (1)

northcat (827059) | about 9 years ago | (#12030849)

Let's also hang you since you're a potential victim to a carjacking and therefore people like you keep the carjacking industry alive. Not to mention everyone else.

duh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12030585)

Graham Cluley [says] "If no-one responded to junk e-mail and didn't buy products sold in this way, then spam would be as extinct as the dinosaurs."

Well, duh. That could be said for any type of advertising.

1 in 10 slashdotters? (2, Interesting)

aussie_a (778472) | about 9 years ago | (#12030596)

The article says 1 in 10 people buy stuff from spam.

This is an average of course. Slashdot obviously isn't the average, but it's still likely SOME of you have bought something from spam (even if it's 1 in 100 slashdotters).

So fess up. Whose being buying stuff from spam?

Re:1 in 10 slashdotters? (2, Informative)

mOoZik (698544) | about 9 years ago | (#12030641)

Yes, average. I should have clarified! :)

Regardless, I haven't bought anything from spam. Even if something interestd me, I would be worried about getting ripped off. That said, nothing so far has. Yes, not even "enlargement" offers. ;)

Re:1 in 10 slashdotters? (1)

gatzke (2977) | about 9 years ago | (#12030803)

I took up an telemarketer's offer.

I was pissed that they called, when I was on the do not call list.

They claimed a prior business relationship for a hotel I stayed at in NM a few years back.

I now think that was a bogus connection, as this time share thing must use my specific credit history to rope people and get close to them. While putting up with four hours of hard sell, they made strange references to Virginia Tech (where my wife recently made purchases at a conference). We thought nothing of it until they made strange references to my grandma's home town in podunk GA. They must have all my credit card transactions and use that info to get inside your head.

Screwy. I got a free room at Myrtyle beach and engouh credit to get tanked at the house of blues, almost worth 4 hours of my time.

HA

Most users just aren't very smart (5, Insightful)

rjsquire (14061) | about 9 years ago | (#12030598)

I've recently taken a job at a small software company and occcasionally I have to take a support call or two. We deal with school districts and our software is used primarily by special education administrators.
These are people with multiple master's degrees and I'm amazed every day by their lack of techno-savvy. If very bright highly educated people don't recognize pop-up windows as advertisements then how can we expect the "average" person to recognize the bigger issue surrounding spam?
I think the fact is that most people really don't care that much. They just accept spam the same way they accept junk snail-mail.

Re:Most users just aren't very smart (4, Interesting)

ThogScully (589935) | about 9 years ago | (#12030842)

I think the fact is that most people really don't care that much. They just accept spam the same way they accept junk snail-mail.

So they throw it out? That doesn't sound like what you're saying, but that's what people do with junk mail. This article is about people paying attention to it instead just because it's online.
-N

That's what I call (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12030599)

That's what I call small penis syndrome. I mean, what else could you buy from those 'ads'???


new bill nye show here [eyeofnye.org]

Stats breakdown via country (4, Insightful)

Hamstij (831222) | about 9 years ago | (#12030605)

I'd love to see the breakdown of those "1 in 3" and "1 in 10" type stats on a per country basis.

The vast majority of spam that I get is targeted at Americans, and hence completely irrelevent to me.

I wonder if the number of people that "have clicked on" and "have bought from" is much higher in the US than in other countries.

Re:Stats breakdown via country (1)

e2d2 (115622) | about 9 years ago | (#12030738)

I wonder if the number of people that "have clicked on" and "have bought from" is much higher in the US than in other countries.

That would be nice wouldn't it? Then it would fit into your obviously biased current view of Americans seamlessly.

Re:Stats breakdown via country (2, Informative)

cft_128 (650084) | about 9 years ago | (#12030749)

The vast majority of spam that I get is targeted at Americans, and hence completely irrelevent to me. For a while 80% of the spam that I got (admittedly not a lot relative to other people) was Korean and Chinese, I have no idea how or why they got my email address.

Re:Stats breakdown via country (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | about 9 years ago | (#12030809)

That's interesting. About 75% (that's a very rough estimate, but it should be between 70 and 80 or so) of the spam I get is Korean; most of the rest is in English, but there is also quite a bit that's Chinese or Russian.

Talking to friends about this has confirmed that it's similar for them, and some have pointed out the pervasiveness of broadband connections in South Korea as an explanation.

So it's quite interesting that most of your spam is targeted at (US-?)Americans. How much do you get per day, on average?

Re:Stats breakdown via country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12030880)

Of course. The Americans (especially on slashdot) just can't remove their heads from their asses for long enough to admit it.

Like Jurassic Park? (1)

daishin (753851) | about 9 years ago | (#12030607)

If we stand still it won't see us. But then we would have to deal with the raptors and you can't just ignore a raptor because they can see you even if you're standing still. So no matter what the dinosaurs will probably take over

User Stupidity (1)

hysma (546540) | about 9 years ago | (#12030608)

So everyone is annoyed by spam... at least any person I've talked to in the last few years who has email... yet apparently a very significant portion support it.

Wonderful.

Sigh... (1)

nebaz (453974) | about 9 years ago | (#12030609)

This is what causes me to lament the state of humanity. There are some tried and true methods of persuation and propaganda, none of these methods are secret. Yet they work, a disturbing percentage of the time. Why can't we learn from ourselves?

Re:Sigh... (4, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | about 9 years ago | (#12030853)

There are some tried and true methods of persuation and propaganda, none of these methods are secret.


They are secret to the people who haven't heard of them. Unfortunately, they don't teach much critical thinking in school. (I think it would be great to require a semester of media literacy in high school, where students learn all the classic propaganda techniques and how to spot them...)

bought? (3, Insightful)

loraksus (171574) | about 9 years ago | (#12030611)

Not to split fucking hairs, but "bought" sort of implies that they actually got something. Defrauded, maybe, not goddamn bought.
. /Hates the BSA, but would like them to start smacking the "buy software now" spams.

Re:bought? (1)

kingjam (847721) | about 9 years ago | (#12030726)

i'll have you know that my $750 free ipod is being delivered shortly by a housewife who lives aproximately 29 miles from me.

they promised...

what they ought to do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12030617)

they ought to do with spam what they did to test the theory in the last slashdot article [slashdot.org]

That can't be right... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12030630)

Dinosaurs are extinct? Damn, and I just bought two velociraptors from a guy from Nigeria.

No-spam registration sites (1)

RootsLINUX (854452) | about 9 years ago | (#12030638)

Anyone ever see at the bottom of your spam messages something like "Click here to unregister your e-mail address"? I checked out the URL it pointed to once and I can't find it now (it was something like nomorespam.org) where it asks you to enter your e-mail address so you can be taken off spam lists.

Did anyone ever actually try that to see if their spam got reduced? I didn't, because (1) Why would spammers voluntarly reduce the size of the audience they reach out to when not legally enforced? and (2) The site is likely a dupe and serves the opposite purpose: to let spammers know about your e-mail and, more importantly, that it's being actively used. I'm just curious if anyone found this "service" to actually be legit/effective.

Re:No-spam registration sites (1)

amuro98 (461673) | about 9 years ago | (#12030802)

There's more than enough ancedotal evidence that shows that trying those 'unsubscribe' links results in the address getting MORE spam - assuming the link/account/etc. is valid, works, and is actually processed...

If you think about it for a second, the vast majority of spam already violates the CAN-SPAM law in the US, and makes outrageous claims for products/services that are most likely not legit or even partially truthful. So given the fact that most spammers are criminal liars, would you really trust them to *NOT* spam your address if you asked them? Remember - even if you DO end up dealing with an "honest" spammer, submitting your address to his remove-mechanism is a confirmation that not only is that address valid, but that the address isn't being spam filtered, and is being read by a human who will open spam messages!

Would you STILL trust a spammer to actually remove you from his list, and NOT sell your address to his spamming buddies?

Re:No-spam registration sites (1)

bsdbigot (186157) | about 9 years ago | (#12030881)

(1) Why would spammers voluntarly reduce the size of the audience they reach out to when not legally enforced?

Because even though spamming is lower-cost advertising compared to traditional marketing channels, there is still a per-email cost associated; there is no point in advertising to someone who is not interested, if it is costing money. See also Targeted Marketing and One-to-one Marketing.

(2) The site is likely a dupe and serves the opposite purpose: to let spammers know about your e-mail and, more importantly, that it's being actively used.

Undoubtedly, there are total jerkwads who do this. If you check applicable law [spamlaws.com], this practice is probably illegal. The transfer of that information (your request that they and/or their affiliates/partners/whatever never ever mail you again) to any other party is illegal, "for any purpose other than compliance with this Act or other provision of law." Sure, a criminal is a criminal, and no law will stop that, but since CAN-SPAM passed, you're probably better off "opting out," than blocking or filtering. The flip side of that is that the Feds have given you a method of relief; assuming that this disreputable entity registered your request to be removed and transfered that information to another party (who, obviously, emailed you), you could seek damages from both parties.

Questionable Survey (5, Insightful)

The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) | about 9 years ago | (#12030645)

I have to wonder how the survey question was phrased.

If it gave an accurate and easily understandable description of SPAM (e.g. "email from someone you had not contacted in any way or did not know how they got your email address"), it would be fine.

But I have a feeling (having taken a few surveys in my day) that it was something more along the lines of "How many times in the past year did you buy a product after receiving an email about the product?"

The problem there is that it covers legitimate email offers, like from Amazon, ThinkGeek, or whatever. People might even have thought it counted when they were emailed a confirmation for their purchase.

I wish these articles would include a link to the survey.

Longevity of spammers != "clicking" in emails (3, Informative)

papaia (652949) | about 9 years ago | (#12030649)

I did not need to click on anything to have the spammers generate traffic - all I had to do was to setup a honeypot, then advertise an email address "having used" the honeypot through Newsgroups (actually my research related to much more than that, but this is a /. simplification), then identify test messages, to let them through and let spammers believe that my honeypot is in fact an open proxy - and in 11 hrs I got a few GB of spam running to my "open proxy", allowing me to study it. I have never let it out of my box, but it definitely gave the spammers adrenaline enough to keep them around for longer ... and they are still pounding my box, one year after the end of the project, and from allowing their test messages go through, and half a year since the domain whom the box belonged to, expired. Is anybody still wondering about spammers longevity?!?

Re:Longevity of spammers != "clicking" in emails (1)

ilyanep (823855) | about 9 years ago | (#12030677)

They just have a computer sending it once every x days or something.

Personally, I started receiving spam on my gmail account within 2 weeks of getting it. BTW, Gmail does an amazing job of filtering it.

Re:Longevity of spammers != "clicking" in emails (1)

The Bungi (221687) | about 9 years ago | (#12030817)

BTW, Gmail does an amazing job of filtering it

It does a decent job of filtering it. You're probably not getting spam in Chinese or Korean. 2 out of 5 times their filter will fail to see that the EXACT SAME MESSAGE I 'reported' as spam YESTERDAY is actually... well, spam.

I'd go as far as saying that the rinky client-side OLK2003 filter is better than GMail's, though for some reason it catches some attachment worms but not others (often the same payload, subject, content and sender but different originating IPs). Go figure.

It's OK, though. Just not where it needs to be yet.

No bloody way (1)

mik (10986) | about 9 years ago | (#12030657)

Unless "click on" means got tricked into clicking on and "buy" means accidentally got further along in the (ahem) "ordering process." I don't believe it for a second.

Exactly (1)

windowpain (211052) | about 9 years ago | (#12030661)

Sometimes I think the dolts who actually buy from spammers are as odious as the spammers themselves. The ten percent figure is astonishingly high. But then there's just as much room at the left-hand side of the bell-shaped curve as there is on the right hand side.

That's fucken it. (5, Funny)

stor (146442) | about 9 years ago | (#12030675)

I'm writing a virus.

It will randomly generate mortgage/penis enlargement/teen sluts/housewives/OEM Software spam.

It will have a "Click here to respond" link.

If you click the link, it wipes your hard drive and somehow sets your computer on fire. I need to work out how to kill the CPU fan or something...

These people who are responding to spam need to have their computers confiscated, for great justice.

That is all.

Cheers
Stor

Re:That's fucken it. (4, Informative)

NetNifty (796376) | about 9 years ago | (#12030796)

Well I've started spreading rumors about people buying stuff from spammers and getting tape worm eggs/cyanide pills/another disgusting or poisonous thing instead of medication...

Re:That's fucken it. (1)

game kid (805301) | about 9 years ago | (#12030818)

These people who are responding to spam need to have their computers confiscated, for great justice.

Agreed. Take off every spam-responding computer !! You know what you doing.

Re:That's fucken it. (4, Funny)

Cylix (55374) | about 9 years ago | (#12030823)

Oh that's easy.

All you need is a little assembler and you'll be set.

HCF - Halt and Catch Fire

HCF [brighton.ac.uk]

1 out of 10?! (4, Interesting)

geminidomino (614729) | about 9 years ago | (#12030688)

Ok, I have to know who these guys were surveying, because I'm inclined to think it was the population of a mental institution.

I really have to disagree with TFA on this one. I don't think it's "bad email behavior" keeping spam alive (viruses are a different matter, but lumped in together).

It's the stupid and unethical businesses who will pay a spammer $100 for a 200,000 user spam blast. The spammer doesn't give a rat's posterior whether or not the victim buys or clicks. All he cares about is not getting bounced. Then he gets paid.

Re:1 out of 10?! (1)

mOoZik (698544) | about 9 years ago | (#12030734)

You can't JUST blame the businesses, because they wouldn't spend a cent if they got nothing back. This is why spammers are making hundreds of thousands a month, because people DO buy this stuff. It's a cycle, not just limited to one party.

Not completely true (4, Insightful)

m00nun1t (588082) | about 9 years ago | (#12030689)

"If no-one responded to junk e-mail and didn't buy products sold in this way, then spam would be as extinct as the dinosaurs."

This is a very simplistic view. It assumes that people measure their results carefully, and that it's the same people who keep selling. There's plenty of marketing channels out there that have a poor return on investment, but they keep alive for other reasons. Such reasons include: people don't measure the success properly, there's a new sucker born every minute, or other less financial reasons.

For instance, I had a friend who used to sell sponsorship to big golf tournaments. Companies would pay huge somes of money, and there was plenty of data around that there was a lousy ROI. They kept doing it because they wanted the perks - the premium positions & champagne, etc. He said in his few years, only saw one company actually utilise their investment well by tying it in with other promotions.

In the case of spam, it may possibly be true that it is profitable - it does appear to be the same people advertising all the time - but don't assume staying in business = good medium.

I'm sure my father did a few years ago... (1)

Spoing (152917) | about 9 years ago | (#12030728)

Yes, I tried to talk him out of it at the time. No, he didn't listen. Yes, he's gotten a clue now.

He won't admit that he bought anything; we're at the "Do not ask"/"Do not tell" level now. Nobody wants to admit they were an idiot. Kind of takes the edge off of being the wise old parent role.

Oh, there's an easy way... (5, Interesting)

bitkid (21572) | about 9 years ago | (#12030747)

to educate users. If somebody signs up for a free-mail account (could work for ISPs in general as well), they are automatically send a couple of fake spams. If any link in the spam-emails is clicked, the account of the user will be closed (with an educational warning message). That will teach them...

Credit: Some MS guy I talked to. Unfortunately Hotmail-management was kinda opposed to that idea...

death to spammers, and people who buy from them (1)

Eric Smith (4379) | about 9 years ago | (#12030748)

I used to say that spammers should be put to death, meaning it as hyperbole. But then I considered how many person-seconds are wasted by a single spam campaign, and reconsidered. One spam campaign can waste several human lifetimes. So the death penalty actually seems justifiable, at least as much as it is for other capital crimes.

soo gullible (1)

binarybum (468664) | about 9 years ago | (#12030771)

haha,
you actually believe that the dinosaurs are extinct?

oh man, no wonder people are such suckers for spam.

I get hardly any spam anymore... (1)

dteichman2 (841599) | about 9 years ago | (#12030773)

2 words: Spam Vampire [hillscapital.com]
It works if you tke the time to do it. I got all of my friends together and we made a collective one. We hit some sites so badly that they are DoSd.

Still no excuse (2, Interesting)

Skalizar (676291) | about 9 years ago | (#12030774)

Reguardless of how effective spam ads may be, that doesn't excuse them from modifying the spam so that the people running filters still have to see it. If you're filtering spam, you not only don't want to buy anything from them, you don't want to even see it. I've been training spambayes for months now, and some stuff still gets through as 0% spam. Those are the people who need to be shut down, its easy enough to ignore the rest.

In Korea ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12030782)

In Korea only old people buy items advertised in SPAM.

Re:In Korea ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12030872)

In Soviet Russia, SPAM gets You!

1 in 3 in the whole history of spam? Not bad. (2, Interesting)

Kris_J (10111) | about 9 years ago | (#12030798)

So, if I read this correctly, 1 in 3 people have clicked on a spam link, in the entire history of spam. Well, I'd have to say if the question were approriately rigged, I'd have to admit that back in 98 when I was wanting some fonts for my Geocities work I did follow the link from some spam advertising "scifi fonts". Turns out they'd stolen them from a bunch of stuff, including the recently released Magic: the Gathering game. I reported it to Wizards of the Coast.

So, given the thousands (tens of thousands?) of spam I've recieved, I've clicked on the link from one. Suddenly 1 in 10,000 doesn't look as good as 1 in 3.

Of course, the real way that spam is funded is through scams (which only need a minute click-through rate) and by convincing one company after another that the click-through rate isn't minute. The recipients aren't the only ones being scammed.

beat them at their own game? (3, Interesting)

teuben (226278) | about 9 years ago | (#12030805)

I've always wondered why we , as a community,
don't beat them at their own game. There is
more of us then them, so if only 10% of us
would carpet bomb them with fake requests,
calling their 800 numbers, whatever they
want back, wouldn't that piss them off.
In fact, you start with one company
(my current favorite is Gevalia Coffee,
who can't stop mailing me despite repeated
phone calls and email requests, they hired
a 3rd party to "spam"), and work you way down
slowly and methodically. THat will teach normal
companies to stop doing it.
There probably are a few hard cases to crack,
but it seems there aren't all that many companies
around who do it.

They have a right to click/buy if they want (1)

iamacat (583406) | about 9 years ago | (#12030834)

Just like we have a right to visit web pages unsuitable for young children, which also wouldn't exist if nobody visited them. So those of us who can't stand spam would also have to use software like cybernanny to filter the Internet, rather than banning advertisements that apparently find many willing targets.

It's very true (5, Informative)

EvilStein (414640) | about 9 years ago | (#12030837)

Now before you all start on the "Yeah, I have a 11" penis and 36DDD breasts!" take a look at some of the spam you get. Seriously, look at a lot of it.

producttestpanel.com is a good example. Spams for discount cruises from travel companies. Spam for free movie tickets (yes, I worked for the company that did that!) and spam for other free/discount products. It's not all porn & pills. in fact, the spammers I worked for adamantly refused to send out mails for porn or pills, but "$50 Gift Cards!" and "Try our coffee samples!" were ok.

This is a *huge industry* - some of these companies were sending us checks for $60,000 per month to blast out emails.

CAN-SPAM definitely has NOT helped. I believe that it has made the problem much worse, and it's just going to get worse until that POS law is repealed.

Alternative ways (1)

igny (716218) | about 9 years ago | (#12030839)

If no-one responded to junk e-mail and didn't buy products sold in this way, then spam would be as extinct as the dinosaurs.

Alternatively, if we just buy everything they can offer, they will have nothing to sell no more, the spam will go extinct too.

1.21 Gigawatt News (1)

Mulletproof (513805) | about 9 years ago | (#12030840)

How the Spam Industry is Sustained

GOD, ISN'T OBVIOUS BY NOW??!?!?! Was I somehow teleported back to 1990 when this was actually news or am I reading slashdot?!? HELP MEEEE!!!

Stats Questionable/Principle True (1)

Delilah Jones (852061) | about 9 years ago | (#12030878)

Okay, so maybe the study's basic methodology and findings are questionable.

But I think the main point is that if nobody actually bought stuff from spammers, they would have no reason to expend their resources for their devilish cabal.

To tell you the truth, when you think of someone who buys from a spammer, what age is the person in your mental image?

Are they young, computer-savy, next-generation type people? Or are they old farts that don't know any better?

And if age is exciting, think of some other choice demographics of naivete.

Just from age, though, I think that in a few years the number of spammers will decrease considerably because the number of FREAKING RETARDS (okay, I got it out--feel better now) who buy from spammers will also decrease.

And considering the huge push to filter and otherwise block spammers, coupled with the "old fart factor," I think we can see less spam in our forecast.

That is, unless the spammers manage to stay ahead of the technological curve of the filters--oh crap, .igu--ess.th*ey..al*re-ady.doo

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