Spam continues to blight e-mail exactly 15 years after the term was first coined and almost 30 years since the first spam message was sent. The term is thought to have been coined by Joel Furr, an administrator on the net discussion system Usenet, to refer to unsolicited bulk messages.
Furr told bcc News that the anniversary of his first use of the term was no cause for celebration. For good reason. More than 90 per cent of all e-mail is spam, according to the us- based anti-spam body Spamhaus.
The first unsolicited bulk e-mail was sent by a marketing representative at computer firm Dec in May 1978, when he sent an e-mail invite to every West Coast user on the Arpanet, the original building block of the internet. About 15 years later Furr used the term spam to refer to bulk postings on discussion boards on the Internet but in the years to come spam became associated with e-mail. Today much of it is sent from hacked household computers.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.