July 5th 1937 saw the launch of a new product, a long lasting tinned pork and ham product called SPAM. SPAM has sold billions of tins. It is everywhere (apart from the Middle East/ North African Muslim countries).
The pervasive nature of SPAM was parodied in a 1970 sketch by Monty Python.
The word “Spam” began to be used by certain abusive users of early chatrooms in the 1980s to scroll other users off the screen by repeating the word “Spam” hundreds of times. They then moved to insert large blocks of text from Monty Python sketches to disrupt chats. They became known as “spammers”.
Spam and Eggs are used as metasyntactic variables in the Python programming language, released in 1991, which is named after Monty Python.
By 1993 the term Spamming was used to describe the multiple reposting of the same message, often for marketing purposes. In the days of dial-up connections and painfully slow load speeds such “flaming logo” posts prevented access to chatrooms and caused widespread frustration.
By 1998 the word Spam had entered the Oxford dictionary to describe unsolicited marketing messages.
Since 2000 spam messages have been responsible for infecting computer systems with virus software, bugs, worms, Trojans and ransomware. 2017 has become the year of ransomware with large scale attacks on older Microsoft systems running with out of date protection or unsupported software.