Here are twelve common myths about The Internet and e-mail messaging:
- 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. There is no baby food
company issuing class-action checks. MTV will not give you backstage passes if
you forward something to the most people. 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.
- There is no kidney theft ring in New Orleans. 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 hell-bent on believing the kidney-theft ring stories, please
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
That's "none" as in "zero." Not even your friend's
cousin. Besides, you would probably never wake up in a bathtub full of ice since
you'd have already died of hypothermia.
- 3. Neiman Marcus doesn't really sell a $200 cookie recipe. And even if they
do, we all have it. And even if you don't, you can get a copy at: http://www.bl.net/forwards/cookie.html.
Then, if you make the recipe, decide the cookies are that awesome, feel free to
pass the recipe on.
- 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?
- There is no "Good Times" virus. In fact, you should never, ever,
ever forward any e-mail containing any virus warning unless you first confirm it
at an actual site of an actual company that actually deals with viruses. Try: http://www.norton.com And even then, don't forward it. Most people don't care.
And you cannot get a virus from a flashing IM or email, you have to download
something, like a file.
- If your CC: list is regularly longer than the actual content of your
message, you need to write more.
- If you're using Outlook, Internet Explorer, or Netscape to write e-mail,
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
- 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. And, it sure wouldn't
hurt to get rid of all the ""(or the >) that begin each line.
Besides, if it has gone around that many times--we've probably already seen it.
- 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"
- The "Make a Wish" foundation is a real organization doing fine
work, but they have had to establish a special toll free hotline 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.
- If you are one of those folks who forwards anything that promises
"something bad will happen if you don't," then something bad might
happen to you the next time I see you.
- Women really are suffering in Afghanistan, and PBS and NEA funding are
still vulnerable to attack (although not at the present time) but forwarding an
email won't help either cause in the least. As a general rule, e-mail
"signatures" are easily faked and mean nothing to anyone with any
power to do anything about whatever the petition is complaining about.
P.S. There is no bill pending before Congress that will allow long distance
companies to charge you for long distance when using The Internet.
Bottom Line ... composing email or posting something on the Net is as easy as
writing on the walls of a public restroom. Don't automatically believe it;
unless it's proven true ... assume it's false. Now, forward this message to ten
friends and you will win the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes.