350,000,000 Spams = 28 Conversions

By Deane Barker on November 10, 2008

Spam gets 1 response per 12,500,000 emails: A team of reseachers became spammers to measure response rates (is there an ethical issue there?).

Using ‘proxy bots’ the team of researchers managed to control 75,869 hijacked machines to conduct their own fake spam campaigns.

The researchers used two of the most popular ploys currently used by spammers – firstly offering a fake pharmacy site and, secondly, offering a herbal Viagra-style remedy to boost libido.

“After 26 days, and almost 350 million email messages, only 28 sales resulted,” says the research paper.



  1. It sounds more like a legal issue than an ethical issue. Those people openly admit that for about a month they sent 350 million unsolicited spam messages to people, which I think would be illegal in the US (where the researchers are from). They also used hijacked computers to do it, which I believe would be even less legal.

    Unless it’s fine and legal for me to catch one of them in the street, beat him senseless, and steal his wallet, just because I’m doing research in order to see what the percentage of police complaints would be, I think they should all be charged.

  2. Sending unsolicited commercial email? Illegal Sending via hijacked systems? Illegal Arresting them, charging them with the theft of resources (which is an ethical issue, not merely a legal issue – the decision to knowingly do something illegal is an ethical lapse), and seeing them sent to prison for even a token amount of time? Priceless

  3. Christian Wedding Vows

    Groom: I, Brian, take you, Monica, to be my wedded wife. With deepest joy I receive you into my life that together we may be one. As is Christ to His body, the church, so I will be to you a loving and faithful husband. Always will I perform my headship over you even as Christ does over me, knowing that His Lordship is one of the holiest desires for my life. I promise you my deepest love, my fullest devotion, my tenderest care. I promise I will live first unto God rather than others or even you. I promise that I will lead our lives into a life of faith and hope in Christ Jesus. Ever honoring God’s guidance by His spirit through the Word, And so throughout life, no matter what may lie ahead of us, I pledge to you my life as a loving and faithful husband.

    Bride: I, Monica, take you, Brian, to be my wedded husband. With deepest joy I come into my new life with you. As you have pledged to me your life and love, so I too happily give you my life, and in confidence submit myself to your headship as to the Lord. As is the church in her relationship to Christ, so I will be to you. Tony, I will live first unto our God and then unto you, loving you, obeying you, caring for you and ever seeking to please you. God has prepared me for you and so I will ever strengthen, help, comfort, and encourage you. Therefore, throughout life, no matter what may be ahead of us, I pledge to you my life as an obedient and faithful wife.


    Groom: Brian, I love you and I know that this love is from God. Because of this, I want to be your husband so that we might serve Christ together. Through all of the uncertainties and trials of the present and future, I promise to be faithful to you and love you. I promise to guide and protect you as Christ does his church, as long as we both shall live. God’s Word gives us the perfect example of this love in Christ’s death for the Church. I shall try always, with God’s help, to show you this same kind of love, for I know that in His sight we will both be one.

    Bride: Monica, I love you. I prayed that God would lead me to his choice. I praise Him that tonight His will is being fulfilled. Through the pressures of the present and uncertainties of the future I promise my faithfulness, to follow you through all of life’s experiences as you follow God, that together we may grow in the likeness of Christ and our home be a praise to Him.

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