Spam is basically junk email usually in the form of advertisements or promotional material.  While advertising is a good idea and most people like to hear a bit of what is happening in the world spam is usually unwlecome.
Most people who have an email service use it for a reason such as business or private communication regularly.  A business doesn't have time to read junk mail and waste server time downloading the messages.  Both private and business email services are paid for by the user meaning the cost of spamming comes out of the users pocket.
Spam will fill your inbox very quickly and flood your mail server meaning longer download times and annoying messages when all you want is the important mail.  Your internet server is probably flooded with alot of spam (thousands of emails every day) that increases traffic and ultimately increased cost and annoying slow connections to the end user.
Advertising is ok in the real world because the target audience can usually ignore it and get by without to much trouble and the advertiser pays for the advertisement.  A little bit of spam would be acceptable but frankly there are way to many people doing it now.
Spammers are typically out for the money and don't care of the cost and annoyance to the recipient.  Even if you manage to filter out spam it still cost you money through download times and connection services.  Spamming is simply a cost you can't avoid.
There is hope though new laws are in place that make spamming illegal and several spammers have been taken through the courts and made too pay huge fines.  So if someone spams you let your service provider know and they may be able to help track down who it was and stop them doing it again.
Anyway the links on this site should help you find more information.

Why Do People Spam?
Well as annoying as it is there is a real reason why they do it.  It comes down to profit.  It cost them next to nothing to send out thousands of emails with their various email packages.  Basically Spammers are out to make a dollar and seldom care about anything else like privacy.

What Is Wrong With Spam
Spam is not only annoying it cost you money.  That is your paying for someone else to make a profit from your service.  You pay for the internet connection and for the hours you spend downloading their garbage.  Considering spam is mostly stuff you don't want and never asked for this is actually illegal.  New laws now prohibit spam and if it becomes a problem prosecutions are now a straight forward event and several spamers have already experienced the joys of prosecution.
Spam floods every ISP that a spammer can get hold of with a high amount of traffic meaning you will  get a slower service and at times not even get on line at all.  This ultimately increases the cost to you once again.  An ISP may have to improve its services and again pass the cost on to you.
Another point is that most Spammers hide their identity and act in a very sneaky manner.  I don't mind getting a straight forward advertisement stated as such but I hate tricky headers and incorrect paths distorted by Spamming tools.  If Spamming is legitamite and welcome why do so many Spammers hide their identity and conceal the origin of the Spam.  Frankly I only want email from people who declare who they, where it was sent from and some kind of appropriate subject.

What Can You Do About Spam

Well the answer is not much.  However doing what you can do will dramatically reduce the amount of junk you have to read.
Most email programs and service providers have filtering facilities meaning you can ask or set that mail from a certian person not be passed on to you or redirect it to your trash can or recycle bin (where most spam belongs anyway).
Simply filtering out things like XXX, XX or $$$ will reduce the amount of spam that gets through.   Then you can redirect it to another folder and or your trash can for checking later just in case an important message got caught up in the filtering.
Otherwise simple rules like never, ever respond to spam in any way inlcuding asking to be removed from a mailing list.  This will as I mentioned earlier confirm your addy is active meaning you will be spammed to death real soon.
Also don't leave your addy around anywaywhere especially newsgroups Spammers use special programs that scan for email addy's automatically.  If you do have to leave your addy somewhere include something funny in it like a stray symbol and an explaination of how to correct it for correct use e.g. is the normal way of writing a typical addy but if you write it as or something similar explaining to remove the first @ sign then spammers will get your addy as unreadable or not valid.  An easy way to fool their so called systems.

Isn't Spam Just Another Form of Freedom of Speech?
Well it is only your paying for it weather you want it or not.  So it isn't freedom of any kind what so ever.   I don't hate email or dislike advertising I just want people to be honest about it and call it advertising so I can choose to have it in my inbox or not.  Seeing I pay for my service and you pay for yours and the spammers are out to profiteer I figure we have the right to say no to their garbage. I support freedom of speech and usually have a very open policy when it comes to censorship but spam has become a real problem because it is rediculously over used and annoying.  I wouldn't mind half as much if the spam was actually worth reading but the majority of spam is pretty stupid and absolute garbage not worth even downloading.

Do you know any good links that should be here?  If so tell me in an email and I may include a link here.

These links are people and services that specialise in email abuse.  If you know any more email me the details and I will check it out.
 Net Services
 Mail Abuse Protection Scheme
 Campaign To Stop Junk Email
 Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email
These news groups are also related to anti-spam information and service.  You can subscribe to these groups in the usual newsgroup mediums.  If you know anymore email me the details please.

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