Leader: Kicking out spammers - better late than never

Let's hope it's the first of many such actions...

Let's hope it's the first of many such actions...

The IT industry has reacted to news that US web host Savvis has ditched a number of customers who were spammers with a mix of underwhelming 'so they should' attitudes and criticism that they were supporting these people in the first place.

But whatever your thoughts on Savvis and its history, there should still be room for applauding this 'better late than never' stance - let's hope others sit up and take note. Stopping spammers at the source is always going to be the most effective way of cutting down on the levels of unsolicited email circulating out there.

Also, some of the criticism heading the way of Savvis is uncharitable given the company inherited many of its spamming customers from Cable & Wireless, whose US division it bought six months ago.

In truth, given the speed that others - such as legislators - have moved in the war on spam, a half-year turnaround is lightning-quick by comparison.

The company has also had to balance a number of conflicting issues such as the damage done to its brand by supporting spammers and the not inconsiderable matter of the money it will lose from such bulk-mailing customers - which is estimated to be worth as much as $2m per month.

The move came about largely due to Savvis being shamed into action by Spamhaus, but that doesn't mean its actions are any less effective or that other web hosts and ISPs shouldn't follow the lead set by the US giant.

Those spammers will be looking to take their business elsewhere but how many companies will stand up and deny them their services? Sadly the history of business, online and offline, has shown us on too many occasions that dirty money is still money - and for many companies that really is the only bottom line they are interested in.