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New Study shows that Spam Works

Monday 13 November 2006

Professor Jonathan Zittrain and his co-author Laura Freider at Purdue University have published a large-scale analysis of whether people read their spam. Sadly, the answer appears to be yes, based on a correlation between spam containing stock touts and market activity in the stock that immediately follows. The study examined hundreds of thousands of spam and thousands of market trading points to show that those who listen to spammed advice lose money -- and spammers who buy the day they spam, and sell soon after, win. You can try your own hand at being a spammer or spammee in a simulation using the study's data at http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/stockspam, and you can find the paper at http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract_id=920553 .