After the opening epoch we confront a ‘dense matrix of overlapping and interacting actors and forces – the infrastructure of network protocols, hardware and standards, activist groups, hackers, lawyers, demography – with feedback loops , arms races, struggle over resources, and reinventions all going into making spam.’ This epoch is about developing threads of the concept of community, entwining the capture of attention with making money, collective organization and the law. Spammers of this epoch ended up badly. They tended to be shallow and damaged people. In this time spam feigned respectability and in the end failed.
Richard Marshall reviews Finn Bruton’s ‘Spam: A Shadow History Of The Internet.