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Oracle Tips by Burleson 

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

Why Does Spam Exist?

A legitimate spam newsletter is called an opt-in spam, where the enrollee must respond to an e-mail verification message in order to be enrolled.  One popular delivery tool for opt-in spam is called Topica (

Even with solicited spam, messages from legitimate opt-in spam sources, messages are often trapped inside server-side spam filtering software.  In one notable case, a woman sent out a horse-related newsletter to her 1,000+ opt-in subscribers.  The message was quarantined in spam filters.  It was only after investigation that it was determined that the spam filter had quarantined her message because it contained the word “Sweetwater.”  In this case, the reason for the quarantine was not immediately apparent; however, careful scrutiny of the message revealed that the message was quarantined only because the word “Sweetwater” contains the text string “twat”!

With spam, just like telemarketers, it is widely accepted that “Nobody likes it”.  Of course, the telemarketers located a few people who actually claimed to enjoy unsolicited sales pitches and Americans are now forced to use the opt-out method with the national “Do Not Call” list.  The same thing may happen with spam.

The spammers scoured the globe searching for a single person who actually likes spam.  Once one was located, they used him as a justification that they are providing an important free service.  The following is an example of what a pro-spam ad might look like:

Seriously, what can be done about spam?  In the real world, there are several approaches.  For some people, receiving the daily mail is met with much anticipation.  In spite of the fact that most of it is junk mail, they enjoy the routine of sorting through their mail regardless of its content.

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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