Sunday, October 12, 2008

Are you getting your news from spam? My mother does.

This is a story about my mother and Obama.

My mother: "Have you heard about Obama? Really impressive guy."
Me: "What about him?"
My mother: "x, y and z."
Me: "Where did you hear about this?"
My mother: "I read email too, you are not the only one who is into technology."

Luckily, my mother bases her opinion on more than just spam messages, being an educated woman. I am not sure about others.

I refused to believe this. I still do. Yet, it is true. More and more people get their news from spam, and worse--Form political opinion based on what they read in it, especially when their friends send it to them in chain letters ("hey, you have to see this!").

Be it political spam targeted to change the minds of voters, or regular malicious spam, catching eyes with political blurbs so that users will open the email messages. These messages reach people, and they read them.

I don't have exact numbers, as I am unaware of research which tried to measure it. I am however, now facing the truth. What made me wake up was my mother.

Speaking with friends, my mother is far from the only person to be influenced by such email messages, though.

Gadi Evron,

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