Deflating The Spim Hype
from the spim?-what-spim? dept
Last week, we had a story about someone who was arrested for spamming many members of MySpace.com. The details were that he got into the system and used the “private message” function within MySpace to contact lots of people in an automated way. This sends them all emails. However, somewhere over the weekend, someone turned this into a story about “spim” — instant messaging spam. It has nothing to do with instant messaging spam at all, which is why we didn’t post any of the tons of stories calling this guy a “spimmer” this week. Brian McWilliams goes one step further. Beyond pointing out why this particular story has nothing at all to do with spim, he also shows why spim is unlikely to be much of a problem, despite all the scare stories you may have been reading this week in the press. Basically, IM has been around for quite some time, and spim still isn’t much of a problem at all — and there are a bunch of reasons why it’s likely to stay that way.
Comments on “Deflating The Spim Hype”
Not all IM services are centralised: see Skype.
Not all IM protocols are owned by companies: see Jabber.
I’ve *had* spim on Skype before now. I’m all in favour of preparing for the worst, even if I don’t expect it to land in the very next 10mins.
SPIM and ICQ
I used to use ICQ, back when it was one of the first popular IM programs.
I stopped using it and moved on to MSN Messenger because we started using Microsoft’s Sidewinder GameVoice and it required MSN Messenger, so rather than run two IM clients we switched.
Later when I tried to go back to ICQ, within minutes of logging in I was being inundated with all sorts of SPIM and I shut it down within an hour because the signal-to-noise ratio was too poor for me.
I have since switched to Trillian which lets me connect to ICQ but I haven’t received a single SPIM since.
Private Message Spam (PMS)
As Brian McWilliams points out in his article, this is really Private Message Spam, which I will abbreviate as PMS. This, however, is quite a serious problem and I would not be foolish enough to take PMS lightly.
(If you’re a guy, and don’t have a wife or gf, you may not understand.)