Spam MutatesMarch 8, 2008 – 6:18 PM
Peter Shinbach recently threw in the towel and shut down Bach Door, his online-communications blog.The public relations executive from Birmingham, Michigan, was fed up with so-called comment spam. Returning from a weeklong vacation, he found a slew of comments on his blog that had nothing to do with communications: They were posts from spammers promoting gambling sites and prescription drugs.
“I’m not in this to spend hours a week cleaning up the mess spammers leave behind,” Shinbach says. Ironically, the surge in spam to his blog coincides with a decrease in spam to his inbox: Shinbach says that his desktop antispam software and his ISP’s spam filters together block about 95 percent of junk e-mail sent to his account.
Shinbach is one of many who are starting to fret more about spam on blogs, instant messages, and cell phones than about traditional unsolicited e-mail–at least in part because old-style spam appears to be losing some momentum. While the volume of junk e-mail continues to mount, it stopped growing at double-digit rates last year. Many ISPs and e-mail providers claim that they blocked more than 90 percent of unsolicited commercial e-mail.