I just got another one of those stupid, “Forward this and Bill Gates will give you 240 dollars” e-mails. And I was sent in the to: field with 300 other poor saps. Here is my response:
So there was an e-mail floating around, that said something along the lines of:
PLEEEEEEASE READ!!!! it was on the news! Bill Gates is going to give you money for no obvious reason!!!
Now, when one hears a claim like this one, they should be skeptical. And in this particular case, they would be right to be. From the snopes.com webpage in regards to this EXACT e-mail:
This isn’t real, it wasn’t written up in USA Today (other than in articles about Internet hoaxes), Microsoft and AOL aren’t running a tracked “e-mail beta test” with Bill Gates paying people for participating, and Intel and AOL aren’t merging. The bottom lines is that no matter which incarnation of this silliness one receives, the principle is the same: there’s still no free lunch, and big companies aren’t going to hand out fabulous vacations, $1000 bills, free trendy clothes, new computers, cases of candies, wads of cash, or new cars just because someone with a functioning Internet connection does them the favor of forwarding an e-mail. Though at first blush, participating in such pie-in-the-sky wishfulness appears perfectly harmless, such participation only serves to clog up already overtaxed resources. Oh yes, it does one other thing: it gives the idjits who cooked up these frauds a great big laugh at your expense.
Now in addition to that, it gives EVERYONE who gets the e-mail the addresses of every person you sent it to. Because most of you will forward it along without cleaning up the headers, deleting other peoples e-mails or using the BCC option when you send an e-mail (like I did for this e-mail). Because I’m tired of spammers getting my e-mail in this fashion, I’m sending this e-mail to everyone that I found listed in the e-mail that was sent to me (A total of 303 e-mail addresses!!!). And while it probably won’t stop all the folks from forwarding that e-mail (with my address) to all of their friends as well, at least I can hope that maybe it will stop a few, and I’ll have a few thousand less SPAM e-mails to go through every day.
So I make my plea to you, the conscious internet user:
- Don’t forward crap that you haven’t checked out. Spend a LITTLE time researching something before sending it to hundreds of your friends and forcing them to spend THEIR time reading it. I recommend snopes.com (or any other debunking site), just post a few key words into the search box and 99% of the time it will take you straight to the truth of the e-mail.
- If you absolutely have to send it, take a little time to clean it up! Delete the Previous CC:’s FORWARDS etc. remove other peoples e-mail addresses and make it so that we don’t have to scroll for 15 minutes before we get to the content you are trying to share.
- FINALLY when you do send it, put the e-mail addresses of the people you want to send to in the BCC that’s BCC not CC, section of the e-mail, that way everyone who receives it is blind to who else got it.
And if you like, follow those rules, and forward this to your friends. But if I get this e-mail back to me and it has my e-mail in a CC: block, I will hunt you down and beat you senseless with my laptop.
I think I’m so god damn clever it’s sickening 🙂