Snopes is a good thing!

To: Those people (you know who you are)

From: Superdude

Dear Sir or Madam,

 What the fuck is wrong with you cocknuggets? I have asked you repeatedly *NOT* to send me junk email, or email about some Lithuanian kid born with half of a skull where AT&T is going to donate a pound of cheese for every email forwarded. These things are NOT real! People, there is a website that enables you to verify the authenticity of various claims. is a very informative site where you can check to see if the picture of the man being swallowed by the snake is real. No, there really was *NO* picture taken from the top of the WTC right before the plane hit showing the plane in the background. No, there are *NO* blue envelopes being mailed out with sponges inside carrying a virus. People, check to see if these are legitimate claims before trying to induce paranoia in the lower-evolved among us and annoyance in the more cerebral. With all the is decent and holy, please *STOP* forwarding these Urban Legends to me!



What’s up with snopes anyway? I haven’t been able to get on the site for two weeks? Are they that overloaded after the bombing or what?(Actually though, I was having trouble before that as well).

Aw, man, jeez.

i’ve seen rants like this since i first set cursor on the internet. i’ve come to the sad conclusion that no matter how many intelligent people point out the idiocy of these urban legengs and rumours, they will continue to be sent.

the really sad thing is that when i was a little kid and i heard urban legends, i knew they weren’t true. it never even occurred to me that they were supposed to be. but somehow grown men and women lose that common sense just because it was sent to them through email.

wolfman,from what I understand, their server has taken quite a beating from 9/11. So much so that last time I checked, they had to temporary shut down their MB.

Snopes rules. Nothing like a nice debunking for breakfast.

DaLovin’ Dj

The only thing worse than people who spread inaccurate tales of poisoned ATM envelopes and AIDS-tainted syringes in McDonald’s ballrooms, are the people who preface these e-mails with “This might not be true, but I thought I’d send it just in case”. Excuse me? Telling me that I should carry my own envelopes to avoid being poisoned at the bank machine raises my blood pressure. Like the average person doesn’t have enough paranoia already.

I’ve heard the best thing to do is delete hoaxes and hope they die, but that doesn’t seem to work. Instead, I respond with the debunking link and an entreaty to join the Inboxer Rebellion to avoid spreading lies and misinformation. For unrepentant repeat offenders, I send my reply to the sender and everyone else who got their message. The shame has convinced two friends to think twice before “warning” their friends about e-mail taxes, and I’ve received thank-yous from recipients tired of getting e-crap.

I concur in spades. Today’s Example

What I hate is that these things come in waves. In Wave #1, I get the thing forwarded several times from people I barely know (my friends do not forward, and after a few repeats of the Forwarding Lecture, my family members stopped forwarding to me); this happens fairly early in the thing’s existence, sometimes so early that the virus warning/UL/hoax is not on Snopes yet. In each case, I reply with a brief debunking and a link to Snopes if one is available. What gets me about Wave #1 people is that these are people who are online all the time, people who have been online forever - how can they not understand why we do not forward things?

Wave #2 happens a week or two later. Once again, patient debunking, this time always with a link. I am most gentle with these people, who tend to be online newbies. I explain about Snopes and Inboxer Rebellion and everything else, and many times Wave #2 people will become non-forwarders.

And then we have Wave #3. Wave #3 consists of just one person. And she actually is my friend. And yet she forwards things - and we are talking about things that have been in circulation for years. I recently got a warning about the Happy virus from her. Yesterday she sent me the 9-0-# phone thing, which I first saw at least two years ago. I have patiently debunked her forwards (which always go to an incredible list of people, including everyone who works where she works). I have explained to her politely why I do not forward. Nothing helps. It drives me nuts. She is a nice person, aside from this habit, so I don’t want to be mean, but - I hear from her, at minimum, several times every week. At least 95% of her mail to me is forwarded, and about 75% of that is scams, hoaxes, false virus warnings, or UL. Another 20% is humor, although it has long since stopped being funny to me, since I have already gotten it at least a dozen times and usually first saw it sometime in the mid-1990s. The remainder is glurge.

I tell you, I cringe when I see this woman’s name in my inbox.

But I have a solution. I propose that, in future versions of mail programs, the ‘forward’ button be disabled when the thing is installed. To enable it, the user should have to go through a few screens and type in a code from the company’s website. Anyone who can do that probably won’t misuse the forward button, which frankly should not be used all that often anyway. I suspect that having to cut and paste and so forth would really cut down on inveterate forwarding habits.

Ickiest one so far: a pic of a guy standing on the World Trade Center viewing deck having his picture taken with a plane in the background. Thoroughly debunked at snopes, of course, but it made me feel incredibly skeevy to see it.


Fortunately, I’ve trained my friends not to forward this kind of shit. It took a little while, and I had to crack a few skulls, but they’ve been trained.

But. . .

You mean AT&T isn’t going to donate a pound of cheese for every email sent? Even if it is crappy goverment issue cheese? How about half a pound? Not even that? Well damn.

I remember cleaning those up. It was a bitch, because customers on the dance floor kept stepping on my fingers. I couldn’t serve hors d’oeuvres afterwards.

The worst were the ones floating in the McFondue.

That couple that runs Snopes are heros. I send out a Snopes link three times a week on average. This week it was (so far): 1) the guy with the plane in the back ground, 2) the Q33NY font thing and 3) the letter supposedly written by Ted Nugent. I have made some inroads, in the last month I’ve gotten four new people to add Snopes as one of their favorites.

When I copy a Snopes link I do it as a “reply to all” to try to shame them out of doing it any more. It doesn’t ever seem to work though.


I actually sent out two snopes links today. But get this - THEY WERE TRUE! I couldn’t believe it. The two “urban legends” I got turned out to be true blue (well, actually one was a stretch, and had one minor correction to be true, but still!).

They were the Jane Fonda one, which I really doubted happened, and the Cindy Williams letter about the military pay raise. The correction was that someone thought that the Cindy Williams in question was the CW from Laverne & Shirley, but it turns out it was someone from MIT.

Color me suprised.

I like to send out a standard reply.

"If you can’t be bothered to removed the > symbol from what you send me, I can’t be bothered to read it. If I have to scroll down more than one page to read the actual message you’ve sent me, I can’t be bothered to read it. If you break these rules, I won’t read anything from you ever again. In fact, I’ll set up my email account so all your messages go straight into the trash without me knowing about it. "

Usually works, but I did get a call from my mum asking why I wasn’t answering her email anymore.

Crappy?! Gummint cheese is gooood!

My grandmother used to get the stuff. Man, it rocked.