Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Thats all it takes, really.

I was hitting the 'Next Blog' button the other day, as you do. Wow there are some kooky/dull/interesting/baffling stuff out there, and I thought I wasted too much time on pointless stuff.
I found one blog that posted a story about 9/11 and companies pulling products....anyway it sounded dodgey, so i went to Snopes, and sure enough its one of these email hoax stories that do the rounds.
Two Minutes of research.

Last year two hoax emails were sent around work by well meaning people.
A friend sent a 'warning' to about a dozen of us, from the Red Cross, about needles left in theatre seats and the risk of AIDS, so be very very afraid.
Now i know that one has been around for yonks and had seen it before, so i went to the Red Cross site and sure enough there was a post about these false emails and not to believe them.
I replied to all and sent them the link saying it wasn't true. Nobody mentioned it, and i hope i did not embarrass my friend but really!
Five Minutes of research

The other one was sent to everyone on my work site, which is alot of people. It was about AT&T phone scam. Once again it sounded wierd, for one AT&T is an American company. I Googled a few key words to see what i got and I found this site and then checked it on Snopes.
Now i understand if you have not heard of hoax whacking sites, but everyone should know at least enough about search engines to find infomation.
I again replied all with what I found. A couple of people emailed me back saying thanks so i didn't feel like a total nong.
Eight Minutes of research.

Now if i was going to post something like that (esp health warnings) to people, whether it be 10 or 100's I would at least check it out first...is that so crazy?

There have been a few others. My Mum-in-Law, who i love dearly, sent one about the elephants rescuing people after the Tsunami. Which is a great feel good story, and i can see why people believe/wish they are true.
I hope i don't come across all smug and party pooperish but i can't let it pass. It would be worth it if at least one person next time remembers the site and checks before believing everything they get emailed.

Snopes is a fascinating site, with alot of urban myths, scams and hoaxes. They also have a lot of true stories aswell, some of which are just as strange and kooky as the false ones.
The glossary has a couple of great words to start using- Slacktivism and Glurge
They may make mistakes but its a good place to start before worrying about the hooked hand, ghostly, albino alligator hitchhiker.