Rules and Truths for E-mail
These are the rules and truths ... Now if we can just get people to believe this.
- Big companies don't do business via chain letters. 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.
- Proctor and Gamble is not part of a satanic cult or scheme, and its logo is not satanic.
- MTV will not give you backstage passes if you forward something to the most people.
- The Gap is not giving away free clothes. You can relax; there is no need to pass it on "just in case it's 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, see the real story at the About.com Urban Legends web site:
"The National Kidney Foundation has repeatedly issued requests for actual victims of organ thieves to come forward and tell their stories." None have. That's "none" as in "zero." Not even your friend's cousin.
- 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 all over the 'net. 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 email containing any virus warning unless you first confirm that an actual site of an actual company that actually deals with viruses. Try these reputable anti-virus and Internet hoax sites, and even then, don't forward it. We don't care.
- There is no gang initiation plot to murder any motorist who flashes headlights at another car driving at night without lights.
- If you're using Outlook, IE, or Netscape to write email, 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.
- These days so many attachments contain vicious code (a virus, trojan, or worm) that there is really no reason ever to open an attachment. In fact, any time you are feeling stupid, any time you are feeling foolish, remember: someone, somewhere, is opening an attachment.
- 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. (Think Cut and Paste) It sure wouldn't hurt to get rid of all the ">>>" that begin each line either. Besides, if it has gone around that many times we've probably already seen it.
- Craig Shergold 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.
- The "Make a Wish" foundation is a real organization doing fine work, but they have 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 is distracting them from the important work they do. Also, the American Cancer Society does not give 3 cents for each person you forward e-mail to. They ask for YOU to donate money, they don't GIVE it out, as if they could know how many e-mails you sent out ... sheesh.
- If you are one of those insufferable idiots who forwards anything that "promises" something bad will happen if you "don't," - then something bad will happen to you if I ever meet you in a dark alley.
- Women really are suffering in Afghanistan, but forwarding an e-mail won't help their cause, nor will it help any of the other good causes that circulate e-mail "petitions" so emotionally. If you really want to help, contact your local legislative representative, or get in touch with an organization that really works on the problem described in the e-mail, for instance Amnesty International or the Red Cross.
- As a general rule, e-mail "signatures" are easily faked and mean nothing to anyone with any power to do anything about whatever the competition is complaining about.
- KFC really does use real Chickens with feathers and beaks and feet. No, they really do. Why did they change their name? In this health conscious world, what was KFC's name? Kentucky FRIED Chicken. FRIED is not healthy. So with the help of a focus group, they changed the name to KFC. It's short, doesn't offend dieters and it's easy to remember.
- Another thing, just because someone said in a message, four generations back, that "we checked it out and it's legit," does not actually make it true.
PS: There is no bill pending before Congress that will allow long distance companies to charge you for using the Internet.
Bottom Line ... composing e-mail or posting something on the Net is as easy as writing on the walls of a public restroom. Don't automatically believe it until it's proven false. ASSUME it's false, unless there is proof that it's true.
Now forward this to everyone you know [alt-f-d] or the program I just put on your hard drive while you read this web page will open up your CD-ROM and reach out and slap you upside the head!