You’ve got (birthday) mail: spam turns 29

“I don’t like Spam…” reminds The Blog that yesterday was the 29th “birthday” of spam — the electronic kind, that is. But as we all know, the salty canned meat-treat is ageless — it has a shelf-life of decades. 😛

May 1, 1978: Spam, From Novelty to Nuisance in a Couple of Decades

1978: Spam. … The first piece of unsolicited bulk e-mail (what will come to be known as spam) is written. When it’s sent two days later, more than 400 people with an Arpanet address receive a promotional message sent by Gary Thuerk, a marketer for Digital Equipment Corporation. It’s been pretty much downhill from there.

The first known commercial spam appeared in 1994.

A momentary novelty, spam has morphed into a major nuisance ever since marketers and con men seized upon it as a cheap and easy way to spread the word. While normally associated with e-mail, spam infects other media as well, including cell phones, instant messaging, newsgroups and even video games.


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