Sunday, January 17

Certainly most of the people who read here are astute enough to realize that many of the email forwards we receive each day are simply untrue. I have written about this before, as have some of you.

Here's an example.

An old school friend of mine sends this stuff to me on a regular basis. He, and the many veterans like him, get all riled up at the thought of anything that demeans the military or God and Country. And they should- when the information is factual - but I rankle when it is false.

I'm unclear what the motivation is behind email forwards like this one, but I've read it is a way for the perpetrator to get multiple email addresses, which are then used for spamming purposes. There could be something more nefarious going on (like viruses or trojans), but I don't know how it works. Unfortunately, these people also take advantage of superstitious and devout people, by sending forwards that warn of dire consequences if you don't send it to ten people immediately (or promise something funny on the screen later).

It is SO easy to go to www.snopes.com and search for key words. In checking this one, I typed in ACLU + cross-shaped headstones, and was immediately taken to the page that shows it is untrue.

Telling people about it isn't always a solution, however. It seems to me that the people who get all riled up by this sort of thing are not really interested in whether it is true or not - they just like stirring up a tempest.

18 comments:

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

And...if they really believe this is true---as in the case of the ACLU, it is another reason to hate this truly wonderful organization..!
I find it all very very VERY depressing...! These kinds pf emails are designed to stir up those who hate the ACLU and there is something very terrible about that to me.
I hope the "haters" never need the ACLU, but if they do, they will change their tune pronto.

Capri said...

And to add an additional layer of absolute frustration of trying to get people to stop believing in and passing on these things is when they reply back with "Snopes is run by commies!" based on yet another chain letter which was either started by some wackjob prankster as a joke on the right-leaning who are so addicted to chain letters already, or else it was started by somebody who actually believes that load.

Sky said...

i agree.

i always research and then send the snopes link back to everyone who was sent the email on the copy forwarded to me. this gets time consuming and irritating, and i so often wish the sender had done it instead!

Arkansas Patti said...

Your last paragraph says it all. I used to check the emails out and let the senders know it was a load of hooey but they really don't care for the truth, only the message. Thank God for the delete button.

bobbie said...

I think you're right.
I have one friend who forwards absolutely everything she gets to everyone on her list. It bothers me that I am part of that, and I have asked her several times to stop. She does, for a while, then starts again. It does no good to point out untruths to her. She just says it isn't her own feeling, just what she received.

Gilly said...

Some people will believe anything! If its in print, een on an email, its true!

I just get rather soppy stuff forwarded to me, unless its from my daughter, in which case it is guaranteed to be hilarious!

awareness said...

These type of emails always make me wonder if the send ever uses their brain rather than be emotionally triggered all the time. Most "information" whether its true or not is slanted politically and philosophically isn't it? We get triggered and fooled by this stuff all the time.
you know the older i get, the more cynical I become of any news/information I read/hear. I have lost my trust in the majority of politicians.... collectively they have lost their integrity for honesty and genuine unconditional regard. So, now when I receive an email like this..... my b.s. meter gets hit and I stand up and yell out TRIPE! Ok, I'm lying....but I think about doing that. :)

Granny Annie said...

I try to always check for factual information before my retired military husband forwards it to his buddies. Sometimes they get carried away because many of them have been so mistreated first hand and can believe just about anything. When you return from service to your country and can't be caught in your uniform without being spat upon or called a baby killer you can become callous in your belief that anyone is out there on your side except your fellow service members. Just now those who served during Vietnam are being thanked for their service and believe me, they are loving it.

Grannymar said...

I bin most of the chain emails, especially if they have a world of forwards on them.

That is playing into the hands of spammers. All it takes is a few seconds to delete all the previous email addresses and only sent it to the person you want to get it.

If sending to a group of people why not use bcc (blind copies) thast way the person who get the mail, only sees their own address. Simple.

Kay Dennison said...

I hate those forwards, too!!!! I get Snopes' Top 10 every week in my email so I know what to delete! I rarely forward anything anymore. Those messages are virus magnets.

Looking to the Stars said...

I don't believe in chain letters. I like what Grannie Annie said. My foster brother was in 'nam and he was treated so badly he stopped telling people he had been in the military. He was a highly decorated soldier for what he did in the war (he was a sniper). I will ALWAYS support the men and women in the military, I don't believe in war but I do believe in the people in the military :)

Capri said...

You know what else really burns me up is that so many people never bother to stay in touch with me unless they get a viral they think they have to send. The "friendship" chain letters especially. The rest of the time, they don't send personal notes. Or I'll start having a nice email conversation with someone for a while, and then they take it as an invite to start sending me their junkmail. Some can't even be specifically debunked by a Snopes link, such as the virals with the cute kitty pictures and the Youtube Evian babies commercial. At least, not beyond my own comment "Yeah, that chain letter is going around like mad right now..." Then there is sappy stuff like "Friends/kisses/hugs are like" and "You are my one true friend and I care so much about you, now you must be a great friend and show your friends you care before it's too late because you or they could die tomorrow. Pass this on to all your friends!" schlock. That really offends me, and so does the kind that tries to exploit compassion and religion, and guilt people into spreading the junk around. "If you care about children" (Oh, so that somehow means I don't care about children for failing to pass on some stupid forward) "Amy Bruce is dying, God will bless you if you forward this so AOL can track it and Amy will get the help she needs but if you delete this, you are a heartless person and God will be ashamed of you." That one has been going around for the past decade, and there are links on hoax-busting sites to fire back at those who are taken in by Amy's big lie. But for some that aren't yet on Hoax-slayer or Snopes etc. I'll often write back with a link to other sites where people react with similar feeling to me on these chain letters. Lots of the time I'll just rant and put it up on my own site as a means of self-therapy. But I'll reply-all to post articles that debunk hoaxes for sure. Simply deleting doesn't work for me and neither does staying silent. I've got to do at least one of the above or explode, and it's really galling when friends willingly do everything they are told in virals, but they can turn down/decline, say no to, whatever, dismiss, ignore, forget about their friends personally, and refuse to listen to suggestions to stop letting themselves get manipulated into spreading around junk that's not only bogus, but has been all over the net already. They never think that maybe I've gotten that same joke or Facebook meme about 10 times within the last couple of weeks from other chain-addicts. Christmas used to be especially bad, thank goodness since I've made it known to people via my pages, or must have if they read them, that I do not like getting any Christmas-related forwards, the stale old holiday jokes have stopped coming in the last few years for the most part. I left a chat list in disgust years ago because of one of those stupid ACLU-hating emails that told Christians to mailbomb the ACLU with Christmas cards. I'm a Christian, and I detest chain letter forwards of all kinds, and do not like the love-affair so many other Christians have with forwards particularly of a badly-slanted religious/political nature and what that does to them, resulting in their repution on the net as being among the worst offenders for sending junk forwards.

Pat said...

I'm afraid when in doubt I just delete.

rosemary said...

I finally had to send a friend a nice email after receiving yet another email from her about our President...it was just awful. I was polite and told her to please stop. Sadly, have not heard from her again.

kenju said...

I support the military too, and that is why emails like that one get me so mad! There was no truth in it at all.

oklhdan said...

You're right the people who send these types of emails often don't care whether they are true or not. It is one of my pet peeves. No matter how many times I ask my radical conservatives friends to not send these to me they just see it as their mission to "educate" me. ha

Capri said...

Yes, that really makes me mad, the conservatives are outing themselves and they are completely willingly blind to it! They just give the left more ammo to shoot them with. Christians and women are also very prone to chain-addiction. I'm trying to get that tide turned. That's why I started a network Christians Who Break All Chain Letters. So far it's mostly me posting up a storm on there, smashing chain letters, left and right. A friend posts there, and there were a couple of other posts by people who only made one post. Argh. Leftwingers also spread chain letters, they just don't call it that unless it's rightwing. When it's their own chain letters, they call it "action alerts" or "outreach" and they get away with it because no one in the center or on the right is saying a blasted thing in protest, except via right-wing chain letters, which is just stupid!

Granny Annie said...

Pat, how did such and intelligent person as you sneak into this viral exchange? "I'm afraid when in doubt I just delete". You hit that easy solution smack dab on the head.