Thursday, March 08, 2007
I spend my days and nights here on the Gmail team fighting spam. From stock spam to empty spam to you-won-the-lottery spam, we expend a lot of energy—human and machine—on keeping our users' inboxes clean. So when I saw the SEC's announcement today about suspending trading on stocks that are frequent targets of spam scams, I was thrilled. Hit them where it hurts!
Stock spam is a particularly nasty problem because it is particularly difficult to find the perpetrators, and its after-effects can be so devastating to individual investors who've been lured in. These spammers are often the most creative too, and we've put many person-years of effort into keeping up with their latest tricks.
We know how much Gmail users love their clean inboxes. Every day we look for the relatively few messages that slip through our filter and work to deploy solutions quickly to catch them the next time. It's hard work, but we're proud that even though more spam is being sent these days, less of it is getting into Gmail inboxes. But even if Gmail can catch a lot of it, spammers will continue to send the spams in the hopes that someone else's filter will fail to catch them. It's so nice to see a root cause be addressed, as the SEC has done today, which will make the world a better place for both Gmail and non-Gmail users alike. Bravo!
Don't get me wrong: this is not a magic bullet, but it will help. There's still lots more that needs to be done.
How can you help in the fight? Your most powerful tool is the "Report Spam" button. Use it early and often. That isn't just there to get the spammy message into the spam folder. It sends valuable information back to the spam team that helps us flag messages and senders so we can keep future messages out of your and millions of other inboxes.