Term: spam

Spam refers to unsolicited email you don’t want. The most obvious examples of spam are unsolicited commercial emails, such as ads for porn, drugs, or body enhancement products.

There are two significant qualifications to spam:

  • You didn’t ask for it. An email that offers college degrees or cheaper mortgages from a person or a business that you’ve never communicated with would probably qualify as spam.
  • You don’t want it. When you receive it, you’re likely to delete it unread based on the subject line.

Spam is tricky. Some email programs and services  automatically filter spam based on common key words, the number of people the message is being sent to, or the sender’s reputation. Some also allow you to flag messages as spam.

Unfortunately, any email that people don’t want runs the risk of being marked as spam. If an email newsletter that you signed up for changes its focus into something you don’t want, it might legitimately be considered spam.

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