Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Spam, not ham

I seem to have friends and rellies who send me those very important messages asking me to send them on to all my contacts.

In the last few days I have received three of these annoying messages; one from an ex-student which tells of a dying girl in hospital in New York. The story is in the form of a very syrupy poem designed to rope in the emotionally gullible. It urges you to forward it on to as many people as you can.

‘By sending this to as many people as possible, you can give her and her family a little hope , because with every name that this is sent to, the American Cancer Society will donate 3 cents to her treatment and recovery plan….One guy sent this to 500 people! So I know that we can at least send it to 5 or 6. It’s not even your money, just your time!’

Another forwarded email told of ‘four things that you didn’t know about your mobile phone’. Those four things are furphies too.

The last one I received was an urban myth about a bloke who got a gas bill for $0.00 and the supposed run around he got and gave back to the utility and a bank. This one was reworked to suit Australia with local banks and town names slotted in to a story doing the rounds in the U.S. years ago.

The amazing thing is that when shown to be just urban myths their forwarders don’t do anything. I hereby promise that if I ever have a brain failure and forward stuff like that I will immediately post an apology to all and sundry and ask that they do the same to the 300 people that they have forwarded it on to. Jeez think of all the electrons racing around cyberspace transporting urban myths and conspiracy theories. I’ll take spam any day!

If you are dubious about such messages, you can check them out here....

Of course the conspiracy theorists claim that Snopes is an arm of government and is covering up important, true stories circulating on the net.

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