Are You a Chain Letter Forwarder?
Now I’m talking about a specific type of chain letter. You know: the kind that attempts to make you feel guilty if you don’t forward it on or worse, threatens you.
Here’s an example:
Blah blah some story yada. This letter has been around the world 69 times blah yada!
Forward this letter to 10 people in the next 15 minutes and good things will happen to you. This really works!!! Twenty minutes after forwarding this letter, I got a phone call from Donald Trump asking me to shine his shoes!!!!!!!!!!
Don’t break the chain!!!!! If you do, bad things will happen. Bob of Newport, England deleted this letter and 15 minutes later a jetliner crashed into his house killing him and everybody on board the jetliner, all of whom also failed to forward this letter!!!!
You can always tell a chain letter because of it’s extravagant use of exclamation points.
Other chain letters included in my rant for the day involve those which attempt to induce a panic:
Beware the krunk virus!!! You must blah to your registry and yada that thinger to protect yourself! I normally don’t forward letters like this, but I heard this from a good friend who holds a double PhD. in Quantum Computer Engineering and Astrology, and is a professor at MIT, Oxford, and the University of Phoenix. If he says it’s true, then it is!!!
Note that whatever the hip-hoppers might tell you, krunk actually comes from Conan O’ Brien who invented it in the mid-90′s as a new curse word to confuse the censors.
And of course the very popular cites-credible-sources chain letter:
As seen on Oprah Winfrey just last week!!!! Bill Gates is testing his new beta email tracking system. Forward this email to as many people as you can and Bill will personally send you a check for $2,000 for every person you forward this email to!!!!
This is REAL!!!!!!!! Bill’s reputation is on the line. He has signed a contract with God himself. Bill Gates HAS to pay you or spend all eternity burning in a lake of fire and brimstone!!!
Okay. I know you’ve seen similar letters. Don’t people ever stop to think about what they’re doing – which is making a complete fool of themselves, not to mention being incredibly annoying to the smart people who get these letters?
I admit to being a victim of a chain letter ONCE. I received an email that said for every person I forward the email to, the American Cancer Society would make a donation to help Little Timmy get the treatment he needs to prolong his life just long enough for him to go to Disneyland and die in the arms of Mickey Mouse.
Okay, I don’t quite remember the details, so I may have embellished a bit on the unremembered facts of that particular letter. Nonetheless, I forwarded the email to everybody I knew and, as the letter instructed, copied firstname.lastname@example.org so the American Cancer Society could track the emails.
My uncle later told me, “That thing’s a hoax.” After discovering this, it was the last chain letter I ever forwarded. See, I got smart after that. I realized how foolish I was for believing such a silly email. But I was young and relatively new to the internet (this was in 1997).
So back to the chain letter examples. Let’s tear these things apart shall we?
In the first example, it states that it has been around the world 69 times. Clearly that is impossible. First of all, it’s impossible to track. Second of all, the letter hadn’t been anywhere at all when it was originally written, yet the author wrote that it had been around the world 69 times. Do you see the problem here? Even if the original letter had been somehow tracked and really had gone around the world 69 times, somebody had to add that fact to the letter. It then becomes a new letter that hasn’t been anywhere.
Secondly, who the hell is Bob, and how in the world was anybody able to figure out that this happened to him? Did they dig his computer out of the rubble and see that he had received the email and ignored it, then for some weird reason decided to add to the letter the fact that Bob was killed and forward the letter on to everybody he knew?
And the guy who got a call from Donald Trump. How did he add this fact to the letter if he forwarded the letter BEFORE having this good thing happen to him?
Alright, next email.
The krunk virus. Wouldn’t you want to double check the facts on this, especially since the email instructs you to make changes to your computer? The last time I got an email like this, the “fix” provided in the email actually caused your computer to become vulnerable to hacker attacks! Gee, must’ve been a hacker that started that email.
Third email. Bill Gates went on Oprah Winfrey and publicly told everybody that he was going to pay a bunch of email forwarders a ton of money because he’s just incredibly bored feeding starving children around the world, so he’s decided instead to donate his money to people who don’t need it (clearly, since they are at least well-off enough to own a computer and subscribe to an ISP!)
Okay, how the *$#! is Bill Gates going to track you down? How is he even going to know that you received the email and know how many people you forwarded it to? Ah, yes. The beta tracking system. Just so you know, that kind of thing is IMPOSSIBLE! And even if it weren’t, can you imagine the breach in privacy that would cause?
And seriously, is it that hard to figure out whether Oprah Winfrey actually had Bill Gates on her show where he discussed this stuff? There’s this great thing called the internet. You’re using it right now. Use it to get smarter would ya?
Oh, and I missed a chain letter type. The one that always says, “Send this back to me and five other people you love. If I don’t get it back from you, then I know you don’t love me.”
Umm… you’re right I don’t love you, BECAUSE YOU KEEP SENDING ME THESE ANNOYING CHAIN LETTERS!!!