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Harris: More Want Spam Outlawed, Fewer Annoyed

Seventy-nine percent of online adults favored outlawing spam in surveys conducted in May and June, according to Harris Interactive. This is up from 74 percent in December, the market research firm reported.

Also, just 10 percent of the 3,462 adults surveyed in May and 655 surveyed in June said they opposed outlawing spam.

However, the percentage of those who found spam very annoying dropped from 80 percent last year to 64 percent in the most recent polls.

“This suggests that while people may have become more efficient at identifying and deleting spam, this has not in any way reduced their desire to eliminate or reduce it,” said a report on the surveys released this month.

The average adult reported receiving about 40 e-mails total per day at work, home and other locations, and that 40 percent of them are spam.

This is somewhat in line with other industry estimates that 40 percent to 50 percent of all e-mail is spam. Anti-spam software company Brightmail, for example, reported this month that as of June, 48 percent of all e-mail was spam, and projected that by September more than half of all e-mail will be spam.

This is up from 7 percent in April 2001, said Brightmail, which claims to filter 60 billion e-mails monthly.

Meanwhile, as for the Harris Poll surveys' highs and lows, 27 percent of those surveyed said they received one to five e-mails per day, and 7 percent said they received more than 101 e-mails daily.

Nineteen percent said that more than 80 percent of their incoming e-mail was spam. Just 2 percent said spam is not annoying at all.

Not surprisingly, the type of spam that annoys the most people is pornography, with 86 percent saying it annoys them a lot.

Second on the annoyance list is mortgage and loan spam, with 71 percent reporting it annoys them a lot. Spam pitching prescription drugs such as Viagra is third on the “very annoying” list at 60 percent; and investment spam is fourth at 59 percent.

Fifty-one percent of those surveyed said they are very annoyed by real estate spam; 36 percent by software spam; and 31 percent by computer and other hardware spam, Harris reported.

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