Thursday marks the company's first global antispam day--dubbed "Dump the Junk Day"--which is being promoted by Yahoo in the hope of further raising the profile of the worldwide problem. It also marks the launch of a series of global events and campaigns against spam.
Several of Yahoo's European Web sites, as well as its Australian site, are promoting the day.
Estimates suggest spam--or unsolicited bulk e-mail--costs businesses roughly $8.18 billion per year in lost hours and wasted resources. More than 40 percent of all e-mail traffic is now made up of spam, and some industry experts have expressed concerns that thethat e-mail becomes unusable as a communications tool.
And the message appears to be filtering through. Stephen Timms, U.K. e-commerce minister, has thrown his weight behind the campaign. "Nobody wants an in-box full of irrelevant e-mails, but unfortunately spam is a growing problem the world over," Timms said in a statement.
"Not only is spam a nuisance but it is also eroding people's trust in using e-mail. We want consumers to benefit from the advantages of electronic communications without being bombarded with next-generation junk mail," Timms added.
Among the goals of "Dump the Junk Day" is educating people. Research released by Yahoo revealed, for example, that 56 percent of U.K. e-mail users are perpetuating the spread of junk mail by replying to it and thus clarifying that their e-mail address, which is generally targeted at random, is indeed valid and in use. It is a mistake guaranteed to attract even more unwanted mail.
Silicon.com's Will Sturgeon reported from London.