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It is named after Spam, a luncheon meat, by way of a Monty Python sketch about a restaurant that has Spam in every dish and where patrons annoyingly chant "Spam" over and over again.
Spamming remains economically viable because advertisers have no operating costs beyond the management of their mailing lists, servers, infrastructures, IP ranges, and domain names, and it is difficult to hold senders accountable for their mass mailings.
In the late 19th century, Western Union allowed telegraphic messages on its network to be sent to multiple destinations.
Instant messaging spam makes use of instant messaging systems.The first major commercial spam incident started on March 5, 1994, when a husband and wife team of lawyers, Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel, began using bulk Usenet posting to advertise immigration law services.The incident was commonly termed the "Green Card spam", after the subject line of the postings.Spamming is the use of messaging systems to send an unsolicited message (spam), especially advertising, as well as sending messages repeatedly on the same site.While the most widely recognized form of spam is email spam, the term is applied to similar abuses in other media: instant messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, spam in blogs, wiki spam, online classified ads spam, mobile phone messaging spam, Internet forum spam, junk fax transmissions, social spam, spam mobile apps, television advertising and file sharing spam.