Could This Be The End of Spam?

    May 12, 2003

The war on spam has so far been waged on two fronts: legislation to make spam illegal and filters that prevent spam reaching its destination.

But neither approach has worked.

Even if US anti-spam laws succeeded, they would not stop spam that originates outside the US.

As for spam filters, the spammers are constantly devising new ways to defeat them. The people who are really being affected by the filters are web marketers with legitimate optin lists – how many of your subscribers are receiving your newsletter?

But now, two researchers at IBM – Scott Fahlman and Mark Wegman – have come up with a completely different approach.

The idea is very simple.

Software located between your email client and your server would intercept all incoming email. The software would contain a ‘white list’ of email addresses that you want to receive email from.

Any incoming email that is not recognized by your ‘white list’ would be bounced back to the sender with a message directing the sender to a website where they could purchase a ‘charity stamp’ for a small fee – between 5 and 25 cents.

The proceeds would go to charity. The charity stamp would be a 10-digit code that allows the email to pass through the software to your email client.

This would kill spam almost overnight.


Because spammers have an extremely low conversion rate – as little as one sale for every 10,000 emails. But that doesn’t worry them, because they send millions of emails at a time – and it costs them nothing. Now multiply 2 million emails by 5 cents per email – Joe Spam is out of business!

The flood of spam that is now choking up the Internet only proves what economists have long been saying – any resource that is free and unregulated becomes exploited to the point where no one can use it anymore.

Michael Southon has been writing for the Internet for over 3 years. He has shown hundreds of webmasters how to use this simple technique to get massive free publicity and dramatically increase traffic and sales. Click here to find out more: