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100 billion spam e-mails a day

August 11, 2008

Ever since I started blogging 6 months ago Akismet has blocked 310 spam entries disguised as comments to my blog. I’ve also rescued a few comments it mistakenly tossed to the junkpile. The latest statistic from Wiki says 100 billion spam e-mails are sent worldwide every day, with 80% sent by less than 200 spammers. That’s 15 spam emails a day for every human being on the planet. Since I’m only getting about 2 a day I’m waaayy below the global average. Being a nobody in blogosphere has its advantages. 🙂

Two things come to my mind when it comes to spam e-mail. First, what kind of person actually buys anything from unsolicited email and spamvertisements? Are they bored, desperate, greedy, or simply gullible?

Secondly, the cost of spam. $50 billion wordwide in annual productivity loss. But what’s not said is the environmental cost of sending 100 billion junk mails a day. Think about the effort spent to compose thousands of e-mail offers, operate thousands of e-mail servers, and store terrabytes of data. You’ll need electricity and materials to get it all done. And how are those things manufactured? It goes back to coal/petroleum and its derivatives doesn’t it.

Now the growth rate of spam e-mail has more or less died off because of new filtering technology but like viruses they don’t stop. They just move on to different platforms – like sms. I sometimes receive up to 5 unsolicited sms’s a day, sent from none other than my cellphone operator. They sure learn fast.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. angeles permalink
    August 11, 2008 12:05 pm

    i read too fast and became “100 billion sperm…” 😛

  2. August 11, 2008 12:17 pm

    wiki link have some error…

    wah..that means that it cost us USD0.50/spam…pretty expensive arr

  3. August 11, 2008 2:07 pm

    askimet is sure very efficient.. i have more than a 1000 in askimet.. good job..

  4. Damien permalink*
    August 12, 2008 8:39 am

    @angeles, u may need glasses soon. 🙂

    @malaysia, thanks for alerting me. I’ve fixed the link. On spam cost, Wiki quotes: The cost of spam is borne mostly by the recipient, so it is a form of postage due advertising.

    @cbenc12, yup they’re good alright. Only 1% false positives for me so far. I suspect the senders are bloggers whose host was blacklisted by spamhaus or something.

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