October 23, 2003
Spam scares people off the Internet

This is so sad, but undoubtedly true:Wired News: Survey Confirms It: Spam Sucks

"What this is signaling to us is that there's a change in the whole Internet experience going on here -- a degrading of the experience. Spam is hurting e-mail, and it's eroding people's trust in e-mail and the Internet," said Deb Fallows, a senior research fellow at the Pew Internet Project. "Over half of the users told us they were losing their trust in e-mail because of spam.

"There's this sense of deception, that is new and different and changing the whole aura of e-mail," Fallows said. "People are approaching their e-mail with a sense of dread."

Although there ARE ways to avoid spam in the current environment (my work mailbox being a prime example, as I never publish its adress online anywhere), average Internet users cannot be expected to know all the tricks of the trade or have all the tools (Spam Assassin etc) right away, and spammers are getting more and more clever...

Reading this just makes me sad. Usually being a complete techno-optimist, I can only hope someone, somewhere, will come up with the ultimate killer app to rid the net of spam once and for all... Unfortunately, we're not there just yet, and I don't think legislation is but a small step on the way...

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