On Email Hoaxes

Just a very short entry today, on email hoaxes. For some reason they refuse to die and I still get forwarded email from well meaning if slightly misguided friends. Please take this as helpful advice, though there will be an element of flame to it.

First, and foremost: bookmark this website right now:

www.snopes.com

This is the acknowledged authority on email hoaxes, frauds, urban legends and all that other guff that continues to clog the networks of the world. Go there any time you are even remotely tempted to forward on some fantastic money-making scheme to all your friends, or feel a need to warn them about a new virus that can turn their dog pink.

I know, I know. You’re just trying to help. It doesn’t take much time to delete the email. Even if you do look like a dill, better safe than sorry, right? True, but you have the idea ass-backwards. How about taking a minute to check snopes to see if your friends might have already seen this hoax 5 times already? How about doing us the courtesy of taking 2 minutes to educate yourself instead of making us all waste 30 seconds of our lives deleting another piece of spam? If you don’t forward that email to 30 friends, that’s 900 seconds of life you’ve saved us. Better safe than sorry, right? How about you forward a link to snopes.com instead? How about you don’t use up bandwidth and disk space I have to pay for? How about you don’t waste my time with yet another Get Rich Quick scheme? If not for me, do it for yourself so that you don’t lower my previously high opinion of your internet savvy and force me to start regarding every email you send me with suspicion.

I get enough spam as it is. I really don’t need to start spending even more time, and right now this is time at 28.8kps, downloading and reading the same hoax I got 5 years ago. And 3 years ago. And 2 years ago. And last month. Taking the attitude that it’s my problem and that I have to learn to deal with other people’s failings is not helpful. By all means, reward me with continuing evidence that I have somehow given my email address to someone I shouldn’t have. Provide me with more encourgement to just quietly ignore all email from you. I don’t read any junkmail that ends up in my mailbox, and I have a “No Junk Mail” sticker on it, so it’s not like they weren’t warned that I wouldn’t read it.

So folks, please do us all a favour by checking out snopes.com, or something similar, before you forward that email. The mail admins of the world, and I, will thank you.

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