Spam (unsolicited commercial email) is a major problem in general, attracting various people to suggest solutions of all sorts: technical, legal, social, etc.. But few of these solutions get to the root of the problem: spam remains profitable. Most of the purchases intiated via spam are done in anonymity, so unfortunately we can’t do much to prevent people from buying various products and services from spam peddlers.

Stock spam, emails encouraging people to invest in a specific worthless stock, is on the rise, and the BBC has a story on why. Short story: quick profit. I wonder if stock spam doesn’t offer unique opportunities to solve the problem at the root. First, can’t we track down the people buying these stocks through public financial records, and call them out for public shaming? And second, I don’t know much about stock trading, but couldn’t we short-sell these stocks, reduce their value, reduce the profit for stock spammers, and possibly even take a bit of profit in the process?

None of this will work for other types of spam, but am I missing some reason why these methods won’t work to combat stock spam?