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this day in history 1994

First spam email sent

Spammed Parenthood

Happy birthday to spam! No, not the delicious tinned meat beloved of Hawaiians, but rather the far less tasty unwanted internet advertising phenomenon that was one of the first indicators that this whole World Wide Web thing might not be the problem-free nirvana we had all hoped for. There had certainly been nuisance emails and postings on the web before, but it was on this day in 1994 that lawyers Laurence A. Canter and Martha S. Siegel posted an automated commercial message to a large number of Usenet users. Lawyers? Doing something ghastly? I find that very hard to believe. Advertising an immigration service, the lawyers claimed to have made a fortune from this one unrequested message, while there were so many complaints about it, the internet service provider crashed continually. Thanks to these pioneering visionaries, we are now bombarded with intimate extension products, bogus lottery wins and rude nuisance items endlessly. But, let’s face it, without spam I wouldn’t get any emails at all.

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