Now available: The Spamdemic Map Poster
You asked for it... By popular demand, we present the first-edition
Spamdemic Map Poster. Printed on a sheet of 35"x23" heavy semi-gloss
stock, with all the details you long to tack up on your wall and throw
darts at. To buy your copy and help fund hosting for the Clueless Mailers
site, just click here!
You always knew spammers are an incestuous
bunch, but just how incestuous is about to become a bit clearer.
Clueless Mailers presents version 3.21 of The Spamdemic Map(TM).
Version, GIF, Lower Quality (NEW
Version, GIF, Full Quality (NEW
Version, PNG, Full Quality (NEW
(NOTE: The downloadable EPS version requires that the Helvetica font
or an equivalent substitute be installed on your system.)
Image hosting generously donated by
Chris Holland of The
Christopher Holland Consultancy. Our
sincere thanks go to Chris for supporting the Clueless Mailers site, and
the message we're bringing to our visitors!
Thanks to all who have provided mirroring
of the Spamdemic Map images!
Since Cluless Mailers' images are now generously hosted by TheCHC, the
mirroring isn't desparately needed as it was. So, we've pulled the mirror
links at least for now. Thanks again!
About the Spamdemic MapTM
It's long been known that spammers sell victims' addresses to each
other. Keep that in mind as you look at the map... and remember that
despite their cries of "Permission Marketing Works!"
I have not given my email address to a single one of the companies
that appear on the Spamdemic Map, nor have I given them permission to
send me email... yet nearly all of them seem to have one or more of my
addresses, and most are spamming me. Items in black on the map indicate
entities that have spammed me or are involved in supporting the spammer;
grey indicates companies that haven't spammed me, but may now have my
address, due to their relationships with the spammers; green indicates
ownership; dashed lines indicate tentative connections. First, take a
gander at the Preview Image. Then brace yourself, and step into the Full-Size
Version. (Don't forget your waders.) I'll soon have a more in-depth explanation
of what's going on... I also hope to try to track the actual flow of each
of the spammed addresses amongst the spamhausen. But right now, I need
some sleep. Have fun... and don't say I didn't warn you! BTW
Due to popular demand, I've made the Spamdemic Map available as an EPS
file for the sake of printing (see links above). The map measures about
62" x 41", with the smallest type at 8.8pt. If enough requests
come in, I may consider selling prints, since few people are able to print
at or even near that size. Have fun!
UPDATE 3/25/2002 For the moment,
I've removed the few "person" blocks that were on the Map. It
was pointed out to me by one of those individuals that having so few names
on the Map seemed to call extra attention to them. On the other hand,
some individuals' names will remain on the Map if they are sole proprietors,
domain owners or well-established spammers. When and if I gather a broader,
more complete list of individuals who are connected to the companies on
the Map, I'll put them all on at once. Please also read the newly-published
INCLUSION CRITERIA (added 3/24/2002)
Please note that criteria for inclusion on the Spamdemic Map are extremely
broad... Domains, companies and even individuals are included there that
have not spammed me. In fact, to my knowledge, many of them haven't spammed
The purpose of the Spamdemic map is to show not only actual spammers'
relationships, but also relationships among spammers and other entities
legitimate or otherwise and to illustrate the *potential*
for abuse that can arise when and if irresponsible policies are followed
as when addresses are shared among mailers/marketers without the
recipient's knowledge/permission, or when permission for mailing is not
actually obtained through closed-loop opt-in confirmation.
This means that inclusion on the Spamdemic Map does not indicate or
imply anything about the included entities except for what is specifically
noted there, e.g. "shares addresses with", "is a marketing
partner of", "formerly at", etc. Since large and (currently)
non-spamming companies like AOL Time Warner, CNNSI, Travelocity and USAToday
are also on the Map, inclusion doesn't necessarily mean an included entity
is a "black hat" and it puts them in with some darned
good company, even if some of the other occupants aren't very appealing.
In short, any entity that is connected, either directly or indirectly
through ownership, affiliation, marketing partnerships and agreements,
provision of Internet services, etc., with an entity that has spammed
me, is eligible for inclusion on the Spamdemic Map. This is not an all-inclusive
list, and the criteria may change at any time.
So, to sum up, inclusion on the Spamdemic Map is not a smear or an
attack or even an implication of "guilt by association"... It's
simply one small part of the overall concept of wide-scale general connectivity,
and serves as a reminder to the marketing community to stay vigilant and
to be sensitive to the need to protect recipients' personally-identifiable
I just thought you'd like to hear that. <g> Bob
UPDATE 2/27/02: All I have to say
The Spamdemic Map is becoming a monster. The new version 3.0 is bulging
at the seams with new connections, new domains, new spammers. What's really
interesting is how often a few extremely active mailers are pointed to
by new advertisers and marketers. And if you thought the previous version
of the map had some big corporate names in it, get a load of this one.
I'm currently trying to collect WHOIS data for every domain on the map...
privacy policies will be next. Even now, I already have enough information
and enough new spams to create a whole new version 4.0.
But the next version may be completely redesigned. Since the map is becoming
so physically large, it's hard to navigate it or find spammers that may
be hitting you. So in the next version, I'm going to try to establish
some sort of hierarchy or pyramid structure that places marketers on one
level, mailers on another, and advertisers on a third. Or something like
I also have this vague yet grandiose idea squirming around in the back
of my brain... An idea that says "Flash! Build the map using Flash,
and automate the user's navigation!"
Hopefully, the manic-depression drugs will kick in soon, and those evil
thoughts of Flash will go the way of all flesh. <g>
UPDATE 1/19/02: More connections,
lots of ownership research, and version 2.0 of the map is more frightening
than than the first. It's pretty convoluted, so I'm going to try to rearrange
v3.0 for more clarity. I've also got a preliminary map of address-sharing,
which shows which companies and sites are passing your address off to
The network marketers aren't the only ones guilty of revealing your personal
information. Publicly-available Web documents including privacy policies
and lists of "marketing partners" show that once your address
is harvested against your will and introduced into the "system",
you're stuck with spam for life.
Bounties paid for submitted and unconfirmed email addresses
are encouraging abuse, and the spiderweb of spammers grows as more sleazoid
pimps discover they can resell the addresses found on a "Millions"
CD at $.05 a pop, or more.
Dive into the map and find out what evil regions your email address is
wandering off to...
January 19, 2002