Thank God For Snopes! (or, Fighting Ignorance and Taking Names)

Snopes to the rescue again!

I just received an e-mail regarding the “Clinton Body Count” with the lead in from a friend asking “So what about this Mr. Cynic?”

Now I’m no Slick Willie fan, but my first reaction and response was, “well, every President has literally 100’s of thousands of supporters, detractors, aquaintances, researchers, etc. and some of them are going to die while that President is in power.” I went on to note how any time I see one of these, every suicide is suspicious, every accident has no known cause, etc., but that I didn’t have time to research such a list.

Just on a lark I did a quick search on and lo and behold! They did have the time to research it!

So, I sent another e-mail back to my friend (and the person that sent it to her) and attached the 15-page Snopes breakdown of the allegations.

Man, I love SNOPES!!!

Snopes is great. I inform people about it whenever I heard conversations about those “film rumors”: Lion King and the word SEX, ghost on Three Men and a Baby, dead hanging midget on Wizard of Oz, and numerous other Disney/movie rumors that the people I talk to KNOW is true because, and gee what a wonderful point, they saw it on televsion. I get irked whenever legends that everyone knows is false is still spread around and the person who heard it from his friend’s friend’s friend’s brother’s second cousin twice removed knows it to be true.

I actually overheard 2 guys in the grocery store talking about Snopes. It was ALL I could do to not stick my nose in the conversation!

Yeah, 'nuther hand up for Snopes here.

Whenever one of my E-mail contacts sends me some silly glurge or chain letter, I write them back, including the URL for Snopes and, depending on my mood, a summary of clues to look for that can identify the message as a fake.

Unfortunately, what seems to happen is that they continue to send me drivel, prefaced with something like: “I’m not sure if this is real or not, but I know you’ll be able to tell me.”


Snap, Rocket88. My email forwarding friends still send the same hoaxes, but now preface them with “I’m not sure if this is true, but…”

I got the same “Clinton Body Count” e-mail from the guy in the next cubicle, and I just pasted the Snopes link in a return e-mail to him and everyone else who got the stupid thing. Sender thanked me. And we all rejoiced!

I had the same thing happen with my e-mail forwarding friends. I just kept replying to them with the Snopes url reference and it eventually stopped.

One of them even told me in person that he stopped sending me that stuff because he knew the only time I would e-mail him back about it was with a snopes url reference.

Like mattk and Rocket88, I too have a few friends who, thanks to me, are at least skeptical about these e-mails now. From those people I always receive the “Is this True?” in the subject. I usually end up sending a link to Snopes back to them.

When I get this kind of trash, I usually just send a rebuttle with appropriate links back to them to discredit the story. If they continue to do it, I use the ol’ “Reply to All” function so that even if the sender can’t seem to grasp it, the others they sent it to will know it’s fake.

Just tryin’ to do my part in the fight against ignorance.

(p.s. Last week I had to debunk the Tommy Hilfiger - Oprah Show rumor. Yep, SNOPES again.)

I have the same problem with a few people that LOVE to pass on glurge and chain letters beggin me to help out a poor dying child in fulfilling their last wish.

It didn’t work to ask them not to send me this crap.

It didn’t work to point out some of the leading phrases such as “I don’t normally believe this stuff, but my boyfriend’s sister’s aunt’s friend, who is a lawyer”, etc. that one can find in this particular brand of “fact”.

It didn’t work to consistently reply with a direct link to Snopes, even when directing them straight to the article in question!

What finally worked?

Try going to Snopes, copying and pasting the various example of glurgerific chain letters and urban legends, and then inundate these people’s boxes right back!!!

If its as out of character for you to do this as it was for me to, your friends will definitely get the hint, and they might, if they’re especially smart, realize that you have an unending supply of this stuff to flood them with.

Good luck!

I hate mass forwarded emails! Am I the only one who thinks that their entire purpose is to slow down the net for us poor dial-up users? (how “90’s”, I know I know…) I refuse to send anything back unless it’s truely neccesary to STOP ignorance. Usually I’ll just send the URL to snopes and/or the website for the missing children website and ask them to do 5 minutes worth of homework before mass mailing the latest crap of the day. (In the case of the missing children, I do let them know I think that their heart is in the right place, but for god’s sake, you have a 'puter, use it for more than just email!)