i am still amazed at the simplicity of the problem of spam. lots of people are suggesting interesting technological solutions to fighting spam. many people have implemented strong filter systems, but these systems still permit spam to exist and in a way, we are still required to occasionally check out junk box, just in case.
so spam has won. i have read that spam represents 70% of all email traffic. this is crazy. why can we not find a true solution to spam? well, i think the reason is that we’re looking in the wrong place. we want to find a technology to save us from spam. but the problem, spam is not a technological problem. it’s actually a social problem. spam is born out of our consumer culture. we want to know about everything, especially good deals. we want to hear from strangers, because they might tell us something new. this is all our own built-in preferences. this the way we seem to like it.
well, some of us. i think there is an easy way to get rid of spam, but it requires a change in the way we think. the solution is simple. all email clients or servers should be configured to accept email only from people we know – from a whitelist. the whitelist could grow from address books and recipient lists. anyone you want to communicate with, you send them a little ‘hello’ email and they will automatically be accepted. everyone else will be ignored. within a few short months, spam will completely disappear.
now, the only way to truly achieve this is through a global campaign by the citizens of the net (you know who you are, even if you don’t have a passport). we just need to accept our fate that the open door policy has not helped us. and then once we decide upon this path, we can begin the more difficult task of understand how we begin to open ourselves up again to new ideas. because that is an other problem. we are all being caught in our own web. more and more, many of us are experiencing our communities voice. we get our conserative or liberal or local news and that is all. this ‘closing’ down may cause us to get a lot smaller. maybe we’ll become ‘global villages’ instead of one global megapolis.
there are some interesting decisions ahead, citizens of the net. let’s all start to think about them and remember, that like most things social, there is very little technology involved.