The term spam has been used to refer to many types of unwanted and unsolicited online communication. Though typically associated with e-mail, spam circulation, or spamming, online predates widespread use of e-mail. Use of the term spam to describe unwanted online communication reportedly originated as a reference to a segment on Monty Python’s Flying Circus regarding the pervasive nature of the food Spam. Early spamming occurred when online users would literally post the word repeatedly on Internet forums or chat rooms in order to flood the screen. As space was limited in early online user interfaces, repeated posting of the term would remove another user’s post from the visible portion of the discussion thread. Over time, the term spam came to more broadly ...

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