Not in my virtual backyard
Spam is a virtual environment problem. We can make an easy analogy with our planet's environment. People generally do not mind the existence of polluting factories in some remote corner of the country, but they would strongly protest should someone propose to build a factory, a power station or a garbage incineration center within sight of their backyard.
People's attitude towards spam is about the same. They don't care about the existence of spammers and their unethical practices as long as they themselves do not see any manifestation of it in their own mailboxes and their own community forums.
This selfish attitude is hurting us all, because as long as spammers are allowed to operate completely unpunished, the bad consequences of spam are doomed to raise their ugly heads in some other quarters.
Two types of antispam solutions
We can thus define two kinds of anti-spam solutions:
- Solutions that are hiding the effects of spam from the users' awareness.
- Solutions that are curing the root causes of spam via legal means (legal threats against known spammers) as well as technological means.
Unfortunately, most of the anti-spam solutions are of the first type. Since a long term solution would require dealing with the root causes of spam, we'll do our best to highlight some projects and proposals that belong to the second group of anti-spam solutions.