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BuzzBites: Hypno-Spam; Rebuilding the Bombe

Hypno-Spam

A new form of spam uses a subliminal message to boost responses: It's an animated graphic that flashes the word "BUY!" every 15 seconds. The graphic appears behind text urging would-be investors to purchase a penny stock. The spam is part of a pump-and-dump scheme, in which hucksters promote a stock to inflate its price and then sell it off at a profit.

It's unlikely the subliminal message will affect anyone directly, but plain stupidity seems sufficient. According to a New Scientist article, researchers from two German universities showed that stocks advertised in pump-and-dump schemes became twice as popular in the days after an e-mail campaign. --Andrew Conry-Murray, [email protected]

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