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Sexless Spam

2:15 PM -- Is spam getting prude? "Adult" spam hit an all-time low -- low as in numbers, that is -- last month, according to Symantec in its March spam report.

Just 3 percent of the spam filtered worldwide by Symantec in February was actually that offensive, "over-18" kind of stuff, such as porn, personal ads, and relationship advice, according to Symantec's definition of adult spam.

It was already on the decline, according to Symantec. But why? The most popular spam subjects last month were health (24 percent), financial (21 percent), and products (24 percent), according to the security firm. True, these are obvious money-makers. But doesn't sex sell anymore?

Don't get me wrong. I don't miss slimy subject lines in my spam filter. But the less-sexually oriented spam trend seems to be out of step with the discouragingly heavy volume of inappropriate material on the Web, television, movies, print media, etc., today.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it. Spam filtering is constantly playing catch-up, so maybe it's finally catching up. Besides, spammers don't necessarily trend along with the rest of the media market, anyway.

One thing we do know about spammers is they are constantly shifting their strategies and formats to get their messages through. Maybe they're just taking a break from pitching sexual content. Or then again, maybe they just aren't in the mood.

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading

  • Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC)