Reactions to and Retaliation against Unsolicited E-mail (SPAM): A Case Study


  • Newell D. Wright James Madison University
  • Val Larsen Truman State University
  • Claire P. Bolfing James Madison University


This paper examines consumers' reactance and retaliation to unsolicited email, or spam, and to a "spam-like" non-commercial incident that provoked a similar consumer response to spam. Using ethnographic methodologies, we examine responses to spam and draw conclusions about the antecedents and consequences of spam. The extensive use of the Internet for all types of communication, regardless of commercial value, appears to generate many of the typical retaliatory responses that have been identified in the consumer complaining literature. Researchers will need to focus on the probable ratio of costs and benefits of such communications and on communication models that meet Internet-based objectives with minimum consumer disruption.



— Updated on 2022-03-03


  • 2022-03-03 (2)
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