Online Landfills Running Out of Room for Deleted E-mails

05/20/2010 11:49 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011


Don't hit that delete button! Experts say it could trigger a worldwide e-pocalypse.

"Too many people mistakenly believe that emptying the trash icon on their computer gets rid of deleted e-mails and files," said an IBM spokesman. "In reality, the unwanted files go to cyber landfills that are now dangerously close to capacity."

Unless something changes, the Internet will soon turn into the online equivalent of a backed-up sewer, spewing discarded jpegs, e-mails, spam, Word documents and other detritus into computers worldwide.

"We're just one or two inspirational chain letters from disaster," said Caltech professor Bob Nostradamus. "It'll be worse than Y2K, global warming and Chernobyl combined."

In response, some corporations have inaugurated recycling programs. Exxon Mobil, for example, now requires company memos to be at least 20% composed of previous memos.

"They're just as incomprehensible as before," an Exxon spokesman said, "but much better for the virtual environment."

This story originally appeared at Copyright 2010 by Roy Rivenburg.
Photo by Mixy Lorenzo.