On Jan 09 2005, Michael Kaplan wrote:
No. The CAPTCHA based addresses are worth much more than an ordinary
address. The CAPTCHA addresses don't filter spam, mail sent to them
are guaranteed to be seen prominently by the recipient. So a spammer
only needs to send 1000 spams to find a gullible person who'll respond.
These CAPTCHA based addresses are nearly worthless as compared to an
ordinary email address. A spammer can use an ordinary email address
for years. A spammer can pay 0.1 cent to have a sub-address decoded
but the receiver will almost certainly deactivate this sub-address after
the first time they receive spam.
It depends on your point of view.
Current email lists are worthless since three quarters of spam sent
doesn't reach valid users, of the remaining quarter spam filters
remove another three quarters, and the remaining 1/16th of the
original number competes with all the other spam that made it in an
undifferentiated way. Even then, spammers are forced to change header
contents continually to prevent being easily blacklisted, and must
write catchy content in the subject etc.
From a business perspective, the only indication that mail actually got
through to the recipient's eyeball is if he actually replies.
Contrast this with a valid sub-address. The sub-address is known to be
valid, is known to be unfiltered, and is guaranteed to be visible to
the recipient, without the need to compete in his inbox with scores of other
spams (otherwise the sub-address would have been deactivated long ago).
From a business perspective, this is like courier delivery.
Put another way, spammers send millions of email currently, with most
of those never reaching a person. If spammers were to send exclusively
to valid sub-addresses, then every mail sent would be guaranteed to be
looked at and stand out in their inbox. It doesn't matter that the
sub-address will be deactivated after it has been spammed, in fact
it's a useful service as it limits the spammer's competition from
taking advantage of the same sub-address.
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