Stop Forwarding Those Dumb Emails
By Leo Notenboom
I received an email with a disturbing story that seems like more people should know about. At the bottom, it even suggests that I forward it on to everyone I know. It seems such an important issue … and yet I’ve been told that I shouldn’t forward this kind of thing. Why not?
I get that kind of email from time to time also. Over the years, I’ve developed a pretty good skeptical “nose” for sniffing this kind of thing out.
What is it I’m smelling?
A big pile of lies, frauds, and misinformation usually.
Folks, you simply must approach the internet with skepticism. It’s chock full of misinformation, and a lot of it shows up in your email inbox.
Every few days, it seems, I receive a forwarded plea warning us about the latest political abuse, conspiracy, health threat, or computer virus, or telling me I can get money by forwarding the email to all my friends. That last part is key: “forward this to everyone you know!” is almost always present. They’ve come to be known as urban legends.
And they’re almost always wrong.
At the risk of sounding like a great email I saw a few years ago: Bill Gates is not tracking your email, and he will not pay you to forward his. The Gap is not handing out coupons based on how many people you forward your email to. Tampon manufacturers are not adding asbestos to promote bleeding (and more tampon use). Envelopes are not being sent out with viruses that release when you open them [Check here for info on anthrax scares, which sound similar.]
You get the idea. It goes on and on.
And they all insist that for your health or for your wealth or for the education or protection of others, you should forward the email to everyone you know.
Don’t. PLEASE don’t. Just resist the urge.
At least, don’t do it until you’re sure it’s legitimate. And if it asks you to “Forward this to everyone you know,” or “Tell all your friends and loved ones,” chances are it’s not.
This post is excerpted with permission from Leo Notenboom.