Spam on the Run – Email Spammers Get Shut Down

Subject Line: Is it you? Anja here…

Body: I am lonely girl from Eastern Europe who found your email and who is thinking ‘what is not love if not two people be happy and for respect?’

Oh, Anja. I feel it. I do. Because what is not love if not two people be happy and for respect?

What is not love if I’m not sending myself, from my own email address, helpful savings on Cialis? How thoughtful of me! I must know something I don’t know. What is not love if I’m not IMMEDIATELY HELPING a member of Nigerian royalty claim his rightful inheritance?

What is not love? Not love is what dropped like fifty tons of wet cement all over McColo Corp., a web hosting firm based in San Jose, California, as of Tuesday.

After a lengthy investigation into spam-related activities, the Washington Post’s Security Fix contacted McColo’s ISP providers, Global Crossing and Hurricane Electric. After reviewing the overwhelming evidence of super-economy sized spamming, McColo was promptly shut down.

Thus, the factory churning out more spam than Hormel (zing!) grinds to a halt, and a jillion Viagra-laden image-based missives dissolve into simpler particles.

McColo, it is reported, was responsible for 75% of the spam blasted to email addresses world-wide. Say that slowly: seventy-five percent. Holy schmokes, that’s a whole lotta spam. And, in a rare instance of ensuing reality nearly matching expectations, in the days that followed the amount of junk email, globally, dropped by roughly two-thirds. Spam filters worldwide, anthropomorphized, breathe a huge sigh of relief as what was once a seemingly unstoppable onslaught becomes a mere trickle.

“We can handle this,” say the spam filters. “You guys rest easy…”

But should we? As we speak, the throne of the King of Spam sits vacant, but the minions are restless. How long before someone else picks up the gauntlet? The thing about spam is that, even in an age this jaded, it works. I don’t condone it but spam works. People respond. People buy. It’s strafe-bomb marketing. You only get one hit in a million emails? Then send out a trillion. Still not enough? Then send out a trillion every minute. It’s getting blocked? Change the format. Then send out a trillion. Every minute.

Spam is the cockroach of digital communication. For every one you kill, a hundred hatch. After the apocalypse all there’s going to be left are cockroaches, rats, and email spam. And, just like any other profitable mutation, it has its own beauty. The love letters written by robots. The gut-punch appeals to raw human need. It’s pure marketing, unencumbered by conscience.

But not, apparently, by repercussions.

PS – Please feel free to sing the first part of the title to the tune of “Band on the Run” by either Paul McCartney and Wings or the Foo Fighters (your choice). I did.