Dealing with Spammers: A Modest Proposal

In 2009, it was estimated that spam would cost the world about $130 billion, $42 billion of that in the United States. While technological measures are getting better (for example, Askimet for blog spam), it will always be an arms race between the spammers and the anti-spammers. What can be done?

A significant percentage of email spam is still the Nigerian 419 scam, named after the relevant section of the Nigerian penal code. (The scam actually precedes email; it used to be sent by post!) Everybody’s gotten this one: a rich person died, and concerned people involved need help to get the money out of the country. If you’ll just provide your bank account details and hold the money for them temporarily, they’ll cut you in for a fat percentage.

Since so much spam originates in Nigeria, we have a simple solution: why not transfer ALL spammers to Nigeria? Round up anyone responsible for email or blog spam and give them a one-way ticket to Africa, with a death sentence if they return. Then cut Nigeria off from the internet.

Cruel? Maybe. But isn’t it worth it to eliminate the spam problem once and for all?

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