Friday, October 24

on Humanitary Calls ... Through Email

Today I got an email from a good friend of mine, asking to forward an email to three persons, the idea being that for each forward, AOL and ZDNET will pay .39$. The description of this email is here.

Since this happens from time to time - I still remember the outraged email I received about bonsai kittens asking to protest in order to stop the practice - I decided to write a short ... piece of advice(?) on how to forward emails like that.

The first thing to know about these emails is that most of them are hoaxes.

I'm not saying all of them are false, because I've also gotten a genuine one, from a friend (also about a little girl in need of a transplant).

Still, forwarding hoax emails does nothing good: it is lowering goodwill for genuine calls for help and getting your address into the wild (don't be surprised if you start getting spam shortly after forwarding).

When you want to forward an email like this, follow the following steps:
- first, take a phrase from the original email and search it on google. The phrase should be unique enough that you don't get results for something else (in my case I took Just for this morning, I am going to smile when I see your face).
- second, open the first few results: there are websites gathering chain-letters and certifying their truth value (like truthorfiction and breakthechain).

If the message proves to be a genuine call for help, when forwarding it, send the links you found relevant also, and explain why you think it's not a hoax.

If the message proves to be a hoax, send a reply to the sender with references and explain why you think it's a hoax.

This was my contribution to the bettering of the internet today.

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