Electronic spamming is the use of electronic messaging systems to send
unsolicited bulk messages (spam), especially advertising,
indiscriminately. While the most widely recognized form of spam is e-
mail spam, the term is applied to similar abuses in other media: instant
messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, spam in
blogs, wiki spam, online classified ads spam, mobile phone messaging
spam, Internet forum spam, junk fax transmissions, social spam,
television advertising and file sharing spam. It is named after Spam, a
luncheon meat, by way of a Monty Python sketch in which Spam is included
in every dish.
Spamming remains economically viable because advertisers have no
operating costs beyond the management of their mailing lists, and it is
difficult to hold senders accountable for their mass mailings. Because
the barrier to entry is so low, spammers are numerous, and the volume of
unsolicited mail has become very high. In the year 2011, the estimated
figure for spam messages is around seven trillion. The costs, such as
lost productivity and fraud, are borne by the public and by Internet
service providers, which have been forced to add extra capacity to cope
with the deluge. Spamming has been the subject of legislation in many
A person who creates electronic spam is called a spammer.
Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.