Abandon All Fear

What nobody else seems to be saying…

[Spam] Zombie Spammers

Posted by Lex Fear on November 12, 2005

One thing that really gets on my tits, is those stupid email forwards. You know the ones, little Kirsty is dying of a major disease and she can only afford the operation if you to forward this email onto everyone including your dog. Or Bill Gates is giving his money away, just forward this on to everyone and your goldfish. The first time, years ago, I received an email like this, the first thing I did was look it up. Google wasn’t around then but Yahoo and Altavista were (still are). Straight away you can find out what you need to know.

10-15 years on and I still get these emails every now and then – “It’s probably not true, but I could do with the cash”. Sometimes I just want to slap them in the face but unfortunately these are friends and I can’t do that (especially as some are bigger than me). Wherever possible, with my uninformed friends, I try to take the time (which they didn’t) to find a worthy source, and REPLY ALL with a link, informing them of their error.

What really grates me is the fact that people genuine common sense and intelligence seems to go out the window when it comes to email. I mean, can you imagine the postman knocking your door one morning and gave you a mail which said

” Bill Gates wants to give you his money. Just Photocopy this letter 100 times and post it to all your friends and family, then wait for the checks to pour in…”

You would screw it up, dismiss it and perhaps put in a complaint to the Postal Service. Yet an email arrives, no postage paid, no verifiable source, and immediately we are motivated into action, “whatever it takes”, I’m just doing my part to make sure Kirsty gets her organ.

The problem with these emails is that they play on our apathy and greed. See, it costs nothing to send an email, and at the same time you can get the warm feeling inside that you have done your part to make the world a better place. Never mind the sacrifice it takes to help someone in need, the problems that people experience in real life. No we don’ t really care, but we want to feel like we care, to feel like we are doing something. This is only matched by our greed, Wow someone is giving money away? I’ll have some of that. Again, what does it matter about hard work, creating your own opportunities and taking responsibility for your own actions?

Unfortunately it seems the battle for intelligence over technology seems to be losing. This lack of acumen seems to have invaded the realm of text messaging now. The other day I received a text message from another well-meaning friend:

WELL MEANING BUT DUMB FRIEND:
Just recevd this FWD: Pls pray for Pastor Ferdie Flores, missionary in East Timor.he is going to be executed tomorrow by beating.Pls forward to all Christians (sic)

ME:
Hi WMBDF, do you have any details? How do you know he isn’t dead already and that this text wasn’t circulated yesterday?

WMBDF:
Hi ALEX, cant be over sure although quite a few people got text at same time. . Not sure how we will find out?

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