AOL & Yahoo are going to allow spam to reach mailboxes if the senders pay a fee for each message. Here’s an article about the new system.
It’s hard to predict the result, but my gut feeling is that it’s a disaster for consumers. AOL & Yahoo will pitch it as a “service” to distinguish legitimate offers from true junk and phishing scams. Naturally its first real effect will be windfall profits for AOL & Yahoo. It may take a while to iron out the pricing, but the result will be that the volume of junk mail will build up again – this time presented with a veneer of respectability as if users should be glad to see it.