Spam (the computing term) has several definitions according to context but they are all derogatory.
- Sending an overly repeated message or large useless quantity of text in a Chat channel. Also known as Spamming. Players often "spam" the Trade channel with multiple copies of the same message in order to get their message seen. This can be reported to Blizzard by using the "Report Spam" button when right-clicking a player's name in the chat box.
- In an attempt to get members for raids or Achievement runs, players may spam, at set intervals, LFM or LFG requests. They may also spam WTB/WTS messages, or crafting services they may be able to give a player (such as Blacksmithing or Jewelcrafting). As long as this is not overly done, these types of spams are considered acceptable because of the nature of Trade chat and how fast some messages fly by in the channels.
- In-game whispers of "spammers" advertising gold farming services, power leveling services, etc. to a large number of people anywhere in Azeroth or Outland. Spammers may also utilize the in-game mail system as another medium of advertising their services.
- Repeatedly using the same spell or ability in combat. A fire Mage might be accused of "spamming Scorch", a Shaman of "spamming Frost Shock" or a Druid of "spamming Moonfire". Spammed spells are usually instant cast or have a low cast time.
Popular spamming subjects
- Dirge: The level 70 dagger is generally the first thing one may think of when you think of people spamming the general or trade chat. Most players will notice at least one Dirge spam while leveling their character, but most people don't comment on it (either because it amuses them, or they just /Ignore the spammers. Different servers however will use different items. Some older servers use instead. Unlike Anal, only a single item is used for this type of spam.
- Anal spam: This is becoming more prominent on Trade channels. This tends to be quite annoying as unlike , there are many different spells and items that could be used with it, varying wildly from "Anal " to "Anal Herbalism". More recently, even achievements will be used, such as "Anal "
History and origin
The term "spam" comes from a Monty Python sketch where patrons order from a menu where nearly every course rattled off contains SPAM, a type of processed meat. At several points, they are interrupted by vikings singing the praise of SPAM. This joke itself is a reference to the exclusion of SPAM from World War II rationing regulations, implying many British citizens likely became sick of eating SPAM.
Spam has been used as the butt of jokes for many years. Comedian Jeff Foxworthy described Spam (the food) as, "Stuff Posing As Meat."
Note that "SPAM" is a registered trademark of a type of processed meat. Lowercase "spam", or "Spam" with the first letter capitalized, is what we use when talking about pointless and/or unwanted text.