From: Lawrence deBivort (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat 06 Aug 2005 - 12:25:41 GMT
Hi, Scott and everyone,
In today's morning batch, no discernible Jewish names. If this continues,
the 'Jewish spam names' pattern lasted discernibly about five days, starting
as a smaller percentage of all spam names, and building to the high that I
reported yesterday (thirteen of eighteen). I couldn't associate the names
with any particular subset of spam subjects, and today the spam subjects
seem normally distributed, as well. Only the names have changed.
Is this significant?
I think it must be, in that spam names are all deliberately and consciously
invented. So WHY the intense selection of Jewish names?
I often suggest to my students that 'the meaning of a communication lies in
the effect it produces' but this is a bit of a trick assertion, but quite
memetic in spirit. If we follow its implications, the question would be what
'effect' the use of such explicitly Jewish names has on the recipients of the spam. For me, spam is quite negative, and the author(s) may have thought that this is a way to get people angry at Jews. But for the pattern was so obviously artificial I had the opposite reaction; that this may be a bizarre attempt to discredit Jews.
I would be very interested in hearing from others on the list about your
reactions, if you have received similar spam.
And it will be interesting to see if any other ethnicities are picked on.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of
Sent: Saturday, August 06, 2005 2:52 AM
Subject: Re: Spam names pattern change
--- Lawrence deBivort <email@example.com> wrote:
> Greetings, all,
> I receive about 30 spam emails per day, most of
> which are caught by my
> filters and deposited into a 'junk mail' file. Every
> now and them I glance
> through the spam to see if some 'good' email has
> been snagged.
> In the last five days or so, a strong pattern has
> emerged. As you know,
> spammers assume invented names; the pattern lies in
> the choice of names they
> are making. Of eighteen emails in this morning's
> crop, thirteen sport
> 'Jewish' names, and are given as one-name
> identifiers, rather than the
> normal 'given name/surname' format. Thus the emails
> purport to be from:
> Grinberg, Halpern, Glucksman, Glickman, Gottlieb,
> Horowitz, Finkbein,
> Emmanuel, etc. Of this morning's eighteen, two
> names were ambiguous (Ellis
> and Timothy).
> The content of the spam has not changed as far as I
> can tell; drugs, sex
> drugs, software titles dominate.
> I have been wondering why this is happening. Is it
> designed to appeal to
> Jewish readers? Is it designed to embarrass Jews?
> Are you finding this true in the spam you receive,
> What do you make of this?
I was about to say that I hadn't noticed this pattern, but just checked my junk mail and noticed spam from people claiming to be "Gould" and "Feldman". Maybe you've picked up on a recent trend. Not sure if it means anything.
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