Title: Ethical dimensions of spam

Authors: John P. Buerck; James E. Fisher; Richard G. Mathieu

Addresses: Saint Louis University, SPS Building, Room 218, St. Louis, MO 63103, USA. ' John Cook School of Business, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO 63108, USA. ' College of Business, James Madison University, MSC 0202, Harrisonburg, VA 22907, USA

Abstract: The explosion of spam within the world|s e-mail system has seriously impaired the usefulness of e-mail as a reliable and trustworthy medium for interpersonal communication. Spam raises important societal concerns that are potentially corrosive in their impact. This paper considers the origins of spam and describes in some detail spam|s application and content. In addition, this paper explores the role that spam filtering and blocking plays in the administration of e-mail services. The ultimate objective of this paper is to apply the ethical framework developed by Berenheim (1988) to better understand the impact that spam has on e-mail users and to examine the ethical issues connected with the distribution and regulation of spam.

Keywords: spam distribution; spam regulation; e-mail; email administration; ethics; information technology; spam blocking; spam filtering; ethical issues.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEB.2011.043255

International Journal of Electronic Business, 2011 Vol.9 No.4, pp.350 - 361

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 22 Oct 2011 *

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