Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Please Forward This

Can we all stop the mindless forwarding e-mails now? E-mails are not new things anymore. And the accuracy track record for forwarded e-mails has to be around 5%. If you really must forward an e-mail, at least go to Snopes.com before making a fool of yourself.

I don't generally get e-mail forwards for two reasons: 1) I tend to "reply to all" debunking them and 2) I'm not a conservative. When I reply to all and debunk, I'm taken off the sender's forwarding list for the rudeness of correcting them. Because I'm not a conservative, I'm just not in line to receive 98% of e-mail forwards anyway. I'm not sure why false e-mails seem to be so pervasive in right wing circles but they are.

Anyway, it's amazing to me how a tool that has so much information to offer has, in one respect, been turned into a massive generator of bullshit. Here's an idea on how to fight it.


Gish said...

I had heard that if you forward this comment on to 5 other blogs then Bill Gates will give each of us a check for $1,234.56.

As a side note, I am the Prince of Zamunda and am looking for a discriminating contact to help me transfer my inestimable assets into your country. I could offer, say 25%, as a fee to assist me in this endeavour.

JeromeProphet said...

And the scary part is so much of this conservative chain mail is racist, sexist, etc., which is totally inappropriate at the workplace.

And most just plain lies.

But that's your conservative approach.

And yes, we get alienated after setting them straight.

I received one last week which actually employed this technique - pit an elderly woman who saved the lives of Jews during the Holocaust against Al Gore - all as a smear against Gore, and global warming.

It was one of the most over the top, vile, and disgusting things I had ever read, and all the conservative middle age christian white girls who couldn't really care less to inform themselves on global warming were sending this email around.

I called them on it, and have only received one chain email since.


geek_guy said...

Gish, thanks for the laugh.

As for the rest, I don't get on the forwarded email much. I respond and point out the lies and distortions. So then they take me off the list so they can continue living their pathetic delusional lives and not have it shattered by the truth.

JLo said...

I called them on it, and have only received one chain email since.

Did this produce change we can believe in? C'mon. Most people don't read or really think about what they forward...honestly, I don't think the people who forward e-mails to me even read what they forward. Sure, I find them incredibly annoying and offensive, but I think the best way to deal with them is to either respond and say, please don't forward these anymore or send up an e-mail rule to have anything with FW in the subject line piped into the Trash folder or whatever you call that folder on your computer. Certainly, if you are tech savvy enough to use snopes/factcheck.org, you are tech savvy to figure out how to pipe those e-mails into the trash. I used to respond to those things, but I realized the person who sent them wasn't really reading them either. And honestly, I am not sure what's more annoying - those forwards or people who actually respond or try to debunk forwards and hit Reply All. Because I really think we can all benefit from reading someone's tirade against an octogenarian's mindlessly forwarded e-mail on the evils of Obama. Aren't there better things we can be doing? And yes, I am aware of the irony of saying this as I respond to your comment.

Marie said...

If you get a forwarded junk or chain email, just send it back to the person telling them that the next time you'll forward it to their mail provider (abuse@whatever.com) and their account will be cancelled henceforth. Is that too mean?