Some Truths (at least how I see it)...
1. Big companies simply 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. Honda Motors is not giving away cars with some pyramid scheme. Procter 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. You can relax; there is 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 "legit" does not actually make it true.
2. 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: 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's "none" as in "zero." Not even your friend's cousin.
3. 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 at: Cookie. Then, if you make the recipe, decide the cookies are that awesome, feel free to pass the recipe on.
4. 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?
5. 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 it comes from an actual site of an actual company that actually deals with viruses. Try: Good Time. And even then, don't forward it. We don't care. And you cannot get a virus from a flashing IM or email, you have to download. . . ya know, like, a FILE!
6. There is no gang initiation plot to murder any motorist who flashes headlights at another car driving at night without lights (see Urban Legends) or AIDS infected needles in the local theaters (see Urban Legends) or even abductions at the mall (Urban Legends).
7. If you're using Outlook, IE, or Netscape to write email, turn off the "HTML encoding." Those people that still use 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 them a copy of the Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe anyway.
8. 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. 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.
9. 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 (see Urban Legends).
10. 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 (see Urban Legends).
11. Women really are suffering in Afghanistan, and PBS and NEA funding are still vulnerable to attack (although not at the present time) but forwarding an e-mail won't help either cause in the least. If you want to help, contact your local legislative representative, or get in touch with 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
(P.S.: There is no bill pending before Congress that will allow long distance companies to charge you for using the Internet.) (see Urban Legends)
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, or the program I just put on your hard drive (while you were reading this page) will open your CD-ROM drive, reach out, and slap you upside the head!
Real or Hoax?
Sites to check out questions:
Urban Legends Reference Pages
Urban Legends Research Centre
Truth Or Fiction
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