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Email is Dead

How Spam has Ruined Email

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Netscape thinks this message is junk

Netscape thinks email is junk dead

Heinz Tschabitscher
Spam has turned email into a very costly undertaking.
  • ISPs have to deal with spam complaints and complaints about spam filters being either too greedy or too weak.
  • Email users have to deal with Inboxes taken over by spam (the occasional good mail is difficult to spot in between while legitimate mail is blocked) and their mail not getting through to others because of all kinds of anti-spam tactics.
  • Newsletter publishers and mailing list admins have to authorize themselves and defend what they do endlessly while, at the same time, getting blocked endlessly.

Why would anybody want to deal with all this?

It Has to Get Worse

It is really surprising that not more people and mailing lists and newsletters have given up on email yet (why all the anti-spam tools and legislation (attempts) and lawsuits and web sites if it's so easy to just not use email?).

Email was so useful, once. Maybe it's nostalgia? Maybe the situation is not bad enough yet? But can it get worse?

Probably, it has to get worse. When email is abandoned by so many people that spammers are effectively sending their junk to nobody (instead of everybody), when email is really dead and dead for spammers, too, then it will be useful again.

Before it Gets Better

So, after a long and painful (unless you left early) pause, "Email is Dead" can and will finally be continued with "...Long Live Email!" Will the ruthless cycle of spam and anti-spam measures start again, causing lots of collateral damage on each side?

Maybe, but possibly not. By then, legislation and technology will be in place to make email work for you, me and email publishers, but not for spammers.

Now

we may have killed email for spammers and saved it for the rest of us

Take that glimpse at the past turned future.

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