Thursday, December 20, 2007

Portrait of a Spam Craver

My father hasn't been receiving spam e-mail lately, and he's not happy about it. I've teased him that he is probably the only person in the world who is upset about not getting enough spam. But he believes that this must indicate a problem with his e-mail, and that if spam is getting "lost" then other more important messages are probably being lost as well. He could be right, but I sent him some messages to test this theory, and they got through just fine.

He has even called tech support about this. "What did you say to them," I asked. "Was it something like, 'What happened to my spam? Give me back my precious spam, you bastards!'"

Apparently it wasn't quite like that. But they had no explanation.

"You've won!" I told him. "The spammers have given up on you and admitted defeat. All these years of resisting their ads have paid off. They've taken you off all the lists for good. You are the first man to achieve complete victory over spam!"

He didn't believe this. He said something about how inconvenient it would be to have to get a new e-mail address. He is actually considering getting a new e-mail address because the current one doesn't get spam.

But seriously, I think if spammers had some way to precisely target only those people most likely to respond to their ads, they would probably do it. They would get the same results with fewer complaints and less action taken against them. Could we be seeing the beginning of that strategy? Have spammers developed a vast A.I. that can figure out which people aren't worth bothering with? Or is my father just The Man That Spam Forgot?

1 comment:

Michelle K said...

Having a unique name, I discovered that I get far less spam than other people, because I guess my name looks like a mistake or something.

My personal account, that I don't give out to many of people, gets only a few pieces of spam a month--despite the fact I've had the account since 1999.

Even the address posted on my website only gets about 30 pieces of spam a day.

But I'm not complaining, and neither should your dad. So tell him to buck up and *celebrate* his good luck!