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Today, the word "spam" has mutated from a form of canned meat to a form of abusing the internet. There is both the noun, "My mailbox is full of spam", and the verb: "The hackers were spamming the company database with useless data". Although the word was part of the computer expert's nomenclature years before, it entered popular usage in 1994 after a couple of Phoenix lawyers sent an unsolicited advertisement to USENET, which is a massive collection of message boards on every topic imaginable. The word "spam" was used to identify this unwanted traffic. The name stuck. Today an entire industry exists to create spam filters, spam blockers and email spam filters.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|