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Spam and the Social-Technical Gap
October 2004 (vol. 37 no. 10)
pp. 38-45
Brian Whitworth, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Elizabeth Whitworth, Carleton University
According to one source, in 2003 spam cost US companies $10 billion in lost productivity. Another source found that spam has surpassed viruses as the leading unwanted network intrusion. In these spam wars, as filters become more intelligent so do spammers' countermeasures. More than 50 percent of transmitted e-mail now consists of spam that consumes bandwidth and network resources whether users see it or not.

The continued growth of spam suggests the need for new countermeasures. Although most see spam as a personal problem, we suggest it is a social problem that needs a social response. The authors propose bridging the gap between society and technology by applying social concepts to technology design.

Brian Whitworth, Elizabeth Whitworth, "Spam and the Social-Technical Gap," Computer, vol. 37, no. 10, pp. 38-45, Oct. 2004, doi:10.1109/MC.2004.177
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