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It is named after Spam, a luncheon meat, by way of a Monty Python sketch about a restaurant that has Spam in every dish and where patrons annoyingly chant "Spam" over and over again.
Spamming remains economically viable because advertisers have no operating costs beyond the management of their mailing lists, servers, infrastructures, IP ranges, and domain names, and it is difficult to hold senders accountable for their mass mailings.
The sketch, set in a cafe, has a waitress reading out a menu where every item includes Spam canned luncheon meat. In the 1980s the term was adopted to describe certain abusive users who frequented BBSs and MUDs, who would repeat "Spam" a huge number of times to scroll other users' text off the screen.
As the waitress recites the Spam-filled menu, a chorus of Viking patrons drowns out all conversations with a song, repeating "Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam… In early chat-room services like People Link and the early days of Online America (later known as America Online or AOL), they actually flooded the screen with quotes from the Monty Python Spam sketch.
Although less prevalent than its e-mail counterpart, according to a report from Ferris Research, 500 million spam IMs were sent in 2003, twice the level of 2002.
Newsgroup spam is a type of spam where the targets are Usenet newsgroups.
Usenet convention defines spamming as excessive multiple posting, that is, the repeated posting of a message (or substantially similar messages).
According to "2014 Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 19" published by Symantec Corporation, spam volume dropped to 66% of all email traffic.