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Using uncensored communication channels to divert spam traffic

  • Chiao, Benjamin
  • MacKie-Mason, Jeffrey
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    We analyze a simple, feasible improvement to the current email system using an uncensored (open) communication channel. Such a channel could be an email folder or account, to which properly tagged commercial solicitations are routed without filtering along the way. We characterize the circumstances under which senders would voluntarily move much of their spam into the open channel, leaving the traditional email channel dominated by person-to-person mail. We then show that under certain conditions all email recipients are better off when an open channel is introduced. Only recipients wanting spam will use the open channel enjoying the less disguised messages and cheaper sale prices, and for all recipients the dissatisfaction associated with both undesirable mail received and desirable mail filtered out decreases.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167624512000352
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Information Economics and Policy.

    Volume (Year): 24 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 173-186

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:24:y:2012:i:3:p:173-186
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505549

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    1. Timothy Van Zandt, 2004. "Information Overload in a Network of Targeted Communication," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(3), pages 542-560, Autumn.
    2. Simon P. Anderson & André de Palma, 2009. "Information congestion," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(4), pages 688-709.
    3. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Triole, 2002. "Platform competition in two sided markets," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24929, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Il-Horn Hann & Kai-Lung Hui & Sang-Yong T. Lee & Ivan P. L. Png, 2008. "Consumer Privacy and Marketing Avoidance: A Static Model," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(6), pages 1094-1103, June.
    5. Il-Horn Hann & Kai-Lung Hui & Sang-Yong Tom Lee & Ivan Png, 2005. "Consumer Privacy and Marketing Avoidance," Industrial Organization 0503009, EconWPA.
    6. S. Anderson & André De Palma, 2012. "Competition for attention in the information (overload) age," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00517721, HAL.
    7. Robert Kraut & Shyam Sunder & Rahul Telang & James Morris, 2005. "Pricing Electronic Mail to Solve the Problem of Spam," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2638, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Oct 2005.
    8. Loder Theodore & Van Alstyne Marshall & Wash Rick, 2006. "An Economic Response to Unsolicited Communication," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-38, March.
    9. Il-Horn Hann & I.P.L. PNG & Kai-Lung Hui & S.Y.T. Lee & Yee-Lin Lai, 2006. "Who gets spammed?," Natural Field Experiments 00271, The Field Experiments Website.
    10. Bagwell, Kyle, 2007. "The Economic Analysis of Advertising," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
    11. Geoffrey G. Parker & Marshall W. Van Alstyne, 2005. "Two-Sided Network Effects: A Theory of Information Product Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(10), pages 1494-1504, October.
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