Is the internet being spammed into uselessness?

Figures released by Symantec indicate that in July 2017, 55.7 percent of all emails sent were spam. More than half. Ouch.

Silver fern in the Ball’s Clearing reserve.

Luckily the spam filters are fairly effective. But if you add to it the way that automated bot-diallers are spraying junk calls around both landline and cellphone networks, other bots write comments for those of us with WordPress blogs, and let’s not mention Facebook or Twitter… Yah.

These days it doesn’t take long for any new medium to be taken over by vandals, push-marketers who won’t stop, scammers and thieves. It’s become so prevalent that the majority of calls I get on my landline are from scammers.  And I have to suppose that anything unsolicited will, one way or another, be dishonestly intended.

My policy these days? Unsolicited mail is ignored.  Messages on Facebook from people trying to get me to click on something are ignored. If somebody calls me and I don’t know the number, it’s ignored. If somebody spoofs a number I do know and tries to scam me, I’ll hang up on them – and then not answer when they ring back.

Maybe that means I miss some legitimate stuff. But I simply don’t have the time to waste on dealing with unsolicited callers who lie to me about supposed malware on my computer or some similar problem. Nor do I see why I should indulge the criminals who are exploiting ignorance and fear in their targets in order to steal from them.

It’s a pretty sad indictment of the apparent nature of humanity that being malicious to each other is, it seems, now a majority behaviour in our inter-connected world. The speed with which this has happened – and the volume of it – speaks volumes. So much for the wonderful inter-connected world envisaged by Mr Berners-Lee. And what ever became of the milk of human kindness? Thoughts?

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2018

6 thoughts on “Is the internet being spammed into uselessness?

  1. I do the same. In fact, I discontinued a land line almost 15 years ago. It reached the point where it wouldn’t stop ringing with spammers and the answering machine was filled with so much junk it wasn’t worth the effort to sift through it. I’ve never, not for one second, missed it.

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  2. What? You mean you’d deny a legitimate businessperson (note tongue firmly inserted into cheek) a chance to bilk, er, I mean, persuade you of the wonderful opportunity presented by their product or service? Tsk, Matthew, for shame.

    BTW, I still have a landline — on which I accept only calls with satisfactory caller ID. Same with my cell phones. But email is another story. I end up clicking about 3/4 of the mail sent to me as ‘Delete.’

    I think automation and short-sightedness are to blame as much as any other factor. Too much noise and people tune it out.

    Then there’s that odd tendency of people who know how to manipulate the Internet to believe that they have an absolute right to do whatever they want, just because they know how to do it. I suspect they have this in common with any other form of con/scam artist.

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  3. I suppose human ingenuity has a dark side. And that’s my optimistic view of our species. I’ll just stop right there. I have to say, though, WordPress’s spam filtering seems to have improved in the last few years.

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  4. It’s drowning in content of all kinds I think. Auto-created and otherwise, and all the decent stuff is buried as what shouts loudest is amplified even more. But then, isn’t that just like real life?

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