I receive an increasing amount of spam email. Following the advice from computer services I never reply to the SPAM. This makes sense because at-least it stops spammers from launching a denile of service attack on someone by sending out a lot of mails in their name. In the arms war against spammers I use only a filter on my university account. This filters around 95 % of the spam emails I receive, and about 5 % of my real email into a directory. It’s usually possible for me to tell what is spam by the email title so it isn’t a big problem, just annoying.
It won’t be possible to stop the spammers until it becomes more difficult to send someone unsolicited email, or it becomes more expensive. Email tax (will just mean all spam is from large corporates?) or increase the cost of email in another way (increased popularity of encryption).
But one way to decrease the sucess of spammers would surely be for everyone to reply, that way it would surely be harder at least for the Nigerian 419ers? This could be done by a automatic program, they don’t seem to be very good at english so surely they could have a nice converstation with something like Eliza or ALICE.