AOL has taken the bold step of announcing that it believes spammers are starting to give up. It has released findings that the total number of e-mail messages destined for America Online Inc. members has dropped, down to 1.6 a day in November from 2.1 billion daily a year earlier. The company has said that it believes this drop is due to less spam being sent.

AOL spokesman Nicholas Graham attributed the drop largely to spammers moving on after realizing that many of their messages won't get through AOL's anti-spam filters or that they might get sued for trying.

AOL has also confirmed that the number of spam complaints that it has receives has also dropped, and that it has seen declines in spam messages deleted at AOL's gateways as well as those diverted to spam folders by filters under the control of AOL members. So, less spam for AOL users, but will it continue as part of a trend across the whole internet?