EDITORIAL & OPINIONS
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“re: waisting yur thyme”... I’m getting pretty
tired of SPAM.
You’ve probably read these sentiments somewhere else
before, penned by someone who has reached his own breaking point.
My problems with bulk messages are so bad I’d like to
swear off e-mail entirely. That’s an unrealistic goal,
admittedly; many businesses, institutions and individuals now
communicate primarily through e-mail. Western itself states
in its registration handbook that e-mail is the favoured method
of contact between the system and students.
What was once considered an odd meat eaten by the British and
a Monty Python prop is now the bane of Internet users. I used
to think the subject lines of some of the e-mails were funny
(i.e. “teenage sluts do it on camera!”) and wondered
how long it would be until I saw one that said “Your life
is pitiful. Read this message and you’ll become smarter,
acquire vast riches and get laid by all of last year’s
Playmates at once.”
I don’t think it’s funny anymore. Now I realize
the unoriginal subject headers are a) used to draw in the desperate
with claims like those made a century ago by tonics, solutions
and powders with seemingly incredible properties and b) a source
of embarrassment when a passerby sees one of the above statements
(standing out in caps, of course) on your computer screen in
You’ve probably also heard the statistics about how spam
negatively affects productivity. Employees waste vast man-hours
when they’re forced to delete a large percentage of their
incoming e-mail. Even more time is wasted when a bulk message
is mistaken for a genuine one and is given more than a cursory
glance at the subject line.
System administrators worldwide will also tell you that the
ever-increasing amount of bulk e-mails put a strain on their
computer systems. That strain is increased when one of their
servers is used as a host computer from which a spammer sends
Temporal and technical burdens aside, there remains the simple
fact that for the average user, SPAM is just plain annoying.
I’m forced to check my e-mail many times a day for fear
that if I don’t, legitimate messages won’t make
it to my over-quota inbox.
Internet law has lagged behind the net’s technical development
and there are certainly more pressing issues than bulk e-mail — i.e.
the sale of weapons, the exploitation of children — that
need to be addressed first. Nevertheless, I remain fed up with
the current SPAM situation and hope desperately that it is stopped
in the not-too-distant future.
So, to quote one piece of SPAM, “The future is now: invest
befor its two late (sic).”