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Oracle Tips by Burleson 

Web Stalkers
Chapter 13 - Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam

Spam is in the Eye of the Beholder

Spam, also called Un-requested Commercial E-Mail (UCE), is usually defined as unwanted or unsolicited messages, most likely advertisements.  If an e-mail message is received because a request has been made for more information regarding a product or service, the message is not considered spam.  However, if a request has been made to be removed from the advertiser’s e-mail list and the messages are still arriving, they must be categorized as spam.

Although spam is universally despised, there is no universally accepted definition for it.  One person’s spam is another person’s useful information.  Due to this diversity in personal tastes, filtering spam has become an extremely difficult task.  If a filter is too aggressive, it might prevent important messages from getting through because some messages share spam-like characteristics.  If the filter is not aggressive enough, spam will continue to arrive, though usually in reduced quantities.

“The "free" distribution of unwelcome or misleading messages to thousands of people is an annoying and sometimes destructive use of the Internet's unprecedented efficiency.”
--Bill Gates, 1998

Why Does Spam Exist?

The technology to stop spam has existed for decades, but it is critical for any anti-spam software to be able to recognize unsolicited spam from a legitimate spam newsletter.  For example, an expert programmer or program analyst might have a database tips newsletter that is distributed to 12,000 people every week, and this is quite different from a generic “You’ve been approved for a new home mortgage” message.

The above text is an excerpt from:

Web Stalkers
Protect yourself from Internet Criminals & Psychopaths
ISBN 0-97-45993-9-5

by Donald K. Burleson, Stephen Andert

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