The Truth About Junk Email

The Truth About

I think Email is the easiest, most wonderful way to stay in touch with family and friends. I have several clients who will respond to an E-mail sooner than they'll return my phone calls. Please take to heart the message in this humorous piece. Those of us who rely on this electronic medium as a source of serious communication are often so busy that we loose patience with people who can't, don't, or won't exercise a little courtesy and common sense in their postings. I use numerous anti-virus programs and junk & adult content filters for my E-mail, both pre and post receipt. I make it a habit to Black List anyone who sends me anything that is either obviously infected or seriously over-sent.

Thanks to whomever originally decided to create this note and forward it on. They should receive some type of humanitarian award. There are numerous places on the Internet with this same message.

  1. Big companies don't do business via chain letters:

    1. Bill Gates isn't giving you $1000.00

    2. Disney isn't giving you a free vacation

    3. There are no baby food companies issuing class-action checks

    4. Proctor and Gamble isn't part of a satanic cult or scheme, and its logo isn't satanic

    5. MTV won't give you backstage passes if you forward something to the most people

    6. The Gap isn't giving away free clothes

  2. Forwarding a message to as many of your friends as possible isn't going to make you rich, no matter what the fellow who claims he's an attorney says. You can relax. There's no need to pass it on "… just in case it's true." Furthermore, just because someone said in a message, four generations back, that "… we checked it out and it's legitimate," doesn't actually make it so.

  3. There's no kidney theft ring in New Orleans. No one is waking up in a bathtub full of ice, even if a friend who'd heard it from another friend, whose mother swore it had happened to a distant cousin. If you're hell-bent on believing the kidney-theft ring stories, 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 is none as in "nada, zero, zip, zilch." Not even your friend's cousin's friend.

  4. Neiman Marcus doesn't really sell a $200.00 cookie recipe. Even if they do, we all have it. If you don't, you can get a copy »here«. If you make the recipe and decide the cookies are that awesome, feel free to pass the recipe on.

  5. 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, much less via an AOL chain letter?

  6. There's no »Good Times« virus. In fact, you should never, ever, ever forward any email containing any virus warning unless you first confirm it at an actual site of an actual company that actually deals with viruses. Go to »Symantec's« or »McAfee's« web site to access the latest anti-virus data.

    Better yet, go »here« to access a database of all the latest information on virus hoaxes. Even then, don't forward it. We don't care. You can't get a virus from a flashing IM or a plain text email. That wisdom comes from the same minds that think you can get pregnant from a toilet seat. You have to download… you know, like, a file, and execute (run) it!

    If your regularly updated (like… daily/weekly/monthly) anti-virus software (you are running some, aren't you) warns you that you've downloaded a file containing a virus, and you disregard the warnings by still opening it, we won't feel the least bit sorry for you. We just hope that your email program doesn't try to send a copy to us.

    There are some simple precautions available to prevent several of these viruses from mailing to all the contacts listed in your address book. If you're interested in the instructions, click »here«.

  7. There's no gang initiation plot to murder any motorist who flashes their headlights at another car driving at night without lights.

  8. Do you honestly think anybody really cares about that list of all the people with the same:

    1. Birthday?

    2. Last name?

    3. Dream?

    4. Lost loved one?

  9. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers doesn't send out unsolicited Email Chain Letters in an attempt further their cause. »This« is a direct link to their web, if you really want to help them.

  10. If you're using Outlook, Internet Explorer, or Netscape to write email, please 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.

    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 received it over the last 6 months. And don't send it as an attachment wrapped inside several other attachments. We'll just delete the message. It sure wouldn't hurt to get rid of all the "> > >>" that begin each line either. Besides, if it's gone around that many times, we've probably already seen it.

    And, if you're unsure how to send an email message to several of your friends at the same time without violating their right to privacy by exposing their address to everyone, click »here«.

    Sending the entire web page instead of just the link to it doesn't sit too well with some of us either. It poses a bit of a security risk, jams up bandwidth and we still have to go to the site because the graphics usually don't load with the message. Also, including the URL as an attachment usually triggers the anti-virus security most of us have installed on our computers. If this doesn't set off an alarm on your system then, most likely, your security is set too lax.

  11. 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 no longer a "little boy" either.

  12. The »Make a Wish« foundation is a real organization doing fine work, but they 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's distracting them from the important work they do.

  13. If you're one of those insufferable idiots who forwards anything that promises something bad will happen if you don't, something bad will happen to you if I ever meet you in a dark alley.

  14. There's no bill pending before Congress that will allow long distance companies to charge you for sending email or using the Internet. If you don't believe me, look »here«.

  15. Women really are suffering in the Middle East, but forwarding email will not help their cause one little bit. If you want to help, contact your local legislative »representative«, »Amnesty International« or the »Red Cross«.

  16. As a general rule, email "signatures" are easily faked and mean nothing to anyone with any power to do anything about whatever the sender is complaining about.

  17. The bottom line is that composing email or posting something on the Internet is as easy as writing on the walls of a public restroom. Don't automatically believe it until it's proven false. Presume it's false, unless there's proof that it's true.

If you happen to know someone who will understand the humor in this piece, and perhaps learn the error of their ways, please send them a message by clicking »here«.

Related Links:

The Forwarder's 12 Step Program

Ten Things That Really Set Me Off