Sea of Noise

Sat, 17 Jul 2004

X% of Email is Spam, Where X = ?

A humorous metafilter post presents several estimates of the percentage of Internet email traffic that spam accounts for, ranging from 50% to 90%. Of course, no one knows. First, we'd have to agree what "spam" was and what we meant by "traffic". Then we'd have to actually go look at the mail delivered to our mailboxes and figure it out.

From my personal experience as an ISP owner, though, I can say that for me and my customers (most of whom are businesses) it's a lot closer to 90% than 50%. Worse, over 99% of my mail server resources are consumed by spammers (and it's been that way for years now), since dictionary attacks, spam blocking, bounces, and the like mean that spam accounts for proportionately more resources than legitimate email.

[/internet/spam] permanent link

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