eMail junk (Or the facts of online life)

Here, finally, is one that might actually be worth forwarding.  It’s a good reality check.  We in Technology Support urge you to consider the following the next time you receive a chain letter or a message telling you the sensational news that USA Today and CNN forgot to mention…  This should be required reading to get an e-mail account.  Whoever decided to create this note and forward it on should receive some type of Humanitarian Award.  It would be hopeful, yet doubtful, that this will clean up some of the junk that comes across the net.

Think about it…

  1. Big companies don’t do business via chain letter.  Bill Gates is not giving you $1000, and Disney is not giving you a free vacation.  Honda isn’t going to give you a new car to help their American marketing efforts.  There is no baby food company issuing class-action checks.  Microsoft and AOL have not merged and they are not going to send you a dollar for everyone you forward the message to and two dollars for everyone that *they* forward it to.  You can relax; there is no need to pass it on “just in case it’s true.”  Furthermore, just because someone said in the message, four generations back, that “we checked it out and it’s legit,” does not actually make it true.
  2. There is no kidney theft ring in New Orleans or Las Vegas, or Chicago, or New York, or Atlanta.  No one is waking up in a bathtub full of ice, even if a friend of a friend swears it happened to their cousin.  If you are determined to believe the kidney-theft ring stories, please see: Urban legends.  And I quote: “The National Kidney Foundation has repeatedly issued requests for actual victims of organ thieves to come forward and tell their stories.”  None have.  That’s “none,” as in “zero.”  Not even your friend’s cousin.
  3. Neiman Marcus doesn’t really sell a $200 cookie recipe.  And even if they did, we all have it.  And even if you don’t, you can get a copy at: Cookie Recipe.  Then, if you make the recipe, decide the cookies are that awesome; feel free to pass the recipe on (without the fake story please).
  4. If the latest NASA rocket disaster(s) DID contain plutonium that went to particulate over the eastern seaboard, do you REALLY think this information would reach the public via an AOL chain-letter?
  5. We all know all 500 ways to drive your roommates crazy, irritate co-workers, gross out bathroom stall neighbors, and creep out people on an elevator.  We also know exactly how many engineers, college students, Usenet posters and people from each and every world ethnicity it takes to change a light bulb.
  6. There is no “Good Times” virus.  In fact, you should never, ever, ever forward any email containing any virus warning unless you first confirm it through an actual site of an actual company that actually deals with viruses.  Try: Symantec.  And you cannot get a virus from a flashing IM or eMail, you have to download it… ya know, like, a FILE!
  7. If your cc: list is regularly longer than the actual content of your message, you're probably going to Hell.  And already have the message stored in your old 8088, Franklin, or Adam computer.
  8. If you’re using Outlook, IE, or Netscape to write eMail, turn off the “HTML encoding.”  Those of us on Unix shells can’t read it, and don’t care enough to save the attachment and then view it with a web browser, since you’re probably forwarding us a copy of the Neiman-Marcus Cookie Recipe anyway.
  9. If you still absolutely MUST forward that 10th-generation message from a friend, at least have the decency to trim the eight miles of headers showing everyone else who’s received it over the last 6 months.  It sure wouldn’t hurt to get rid of all the “>” or “<” characters that begin each line.  Besides, if it has gone around that many times — we’ve probably already seen it anyway.
  10. Craig Shergold (or Sherwood, or Sherman, etc.) in England is not dying of cancer or anything else at this time and would like everyone to stop sending him their business cards.  He apparently is also no longer a “little boy” either.  Nor can you get into the Guinness Book of World Records this way anymore (the rules were rewritten specifically to prevent this.)
  11. The “Make a Wish” foundation is a real organization doing fine work, but they have had to establish a special toll free hot line in response to the large number of Internet hoaxes using their good name and reputation.  It is distracting them from the important work they do.
  12. If you are one of those insufferable idiots who forwards anything that promises “something bad will happen if you don’t;” too late… you’re a lost cause already!
  13. The CEO of Proctor & Gamble has NEVER been a guest on any of the TV talk shows to proclaim P&G’s allegiance to Satan… see for yourself at: FAQ.  All the disclaimers to this fact are posted on the various shows web sites.  This is one of the longest running hoaxes anywhere… way before email was ever known by most people.  For a complete list of the info, see: Rumor.  Procter & Gamble is NOT a satanic organization, although I’m sure Satan sure is smiling over all the prolific emails that says it is and probably says thanks to all the “lost souls” who pass this garbage on!
  14. I am not even gonna touch the red spiders in the commode, the hypodermic needles in the theater seats, the car headlights/gang hoax, etc, etc, etc…

Bottom Line…

Composing e-mail or posting something on the Net is as easy is writing on the walls of a public restroom.  Don’t automatically believe it until it’s proven false… ASSUME it’s false, unless there is proof that it’s true.

Got it?


Enjoy this wonderful “tool” we have available to us and use it wisely.

Please think before clicking!

via email from unknown, 3-Nov-1999