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  • 11 months ago

Spam and its prevention have been a driving force in the history of the internet. It's changed laws and communities, language and culture.

It comes in all shapes and forms, the most popular of which is advance fee scams. You know the drill: an agent for the widow of charitable billionaire wants to give you a share of a multi million-dollar 'inheritance'... in return for your help in getting access to it by posing as a cousin or a niece.

But this type of spam isn't just a feature of digital living; it's been around a lot longer than that.

The Digital Human traces the roots of the longest running spam scam in human history, before casting ahead to a world of intelligent spambots.

Aleks Krotoski asks if scams are symptomatic of their time, what do they tell us about now and what do they say about us?

Producer: Caitlin Smith.