Feedback: Spam survey hard to believe

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The Independent Culture
Sandra Vogel ("Costly spam that needs to be canned", 26 May) should apply some common sense before believing everything she reads in a survey, especially one which comes up with a headline-grabbing sum of money (pounds 5.3bn). She reported that 15 per cent of respondents claim to spend an hour or more each day dealing with spam (unsolicited e-mails).

Sorry, but this is simply nonsense. I suspect that the respondents thought they were being asked how long they spent dealing with e-mails in general. Spam is much easier and quicker to deal with than snail junk-mail - one press of the Delete key and it is gone. Most of it can be recognised from the title alone; the rest can be deleted after a glance at the contents.

There is a lot of rubbish written about spam on the Net, most of it by people who need a windmill to tilt at or a cause to fight. The only people who are really inconvenienced by spam are the ISPs, who find themselves inadvertent hosts, and they are becoming very good at dealing with it.

As for the rest of us, we should relax and ignore it. I visit many Usenet groups and all sorts of Web sites without feeling the need to disguise my e-mail address; deleting the occasional invitation to make money for nothing is not much of a price to pay.

John Secker

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