Monday, October 20, 2008

So, knock it off.

Okay, listen up and listen good: PLEASE stop forwarding unsubstantiated garbage to everyone on your e-mail list! It is irresponsible and counterproductive and (dare I say?) cunty.

The next time you get an e-mail or see a MySpace bulletin or someone shares a story with you, just stop and think for a second. And then check it out. What with the internet and all these days, it’s pretty easy to check the veracity of all kinds of claims, from cancer-causing deodorants and Koran-swearing-in Senators to telephone scams, deadly light bulbs and dog poisonings. Don’t assume that an e-mail you receive is real -in fact, assume the opposite and nine times out of ten, you’ll be right.

When you get a forwarded e-mail, especially one that claims “I saw this on Good Morning America” or “This could save your life” or “This is real, I checked it” but doesn’t have a link, just check it out. There are plenty of sites to do this, specifically:
And you can even just Google something and find out pretty quickly whether it’s real or not. Heck, I’m sure the MythBusters have a show about half of them.

So, if you get something in the mail, check it out before just sending it on and spreading more garbage on the internet. When you discover it is crap, please ask whomever sent it to you not to spread this kinds of false assertions around, regardless of the subject.

And if you do choose to send something without checking it out, DON’T SEND IT TO ME. I already know it’s not true and you’re wasting your time and it will make me want to kill you a little.

This is especially important now, during an election year, when rumors and bullshit are running rampant on the internet, in the news media, and by word of mouth from people who should know better. So, knock it off. Stop believing garbage and nonsense just because someone sends it to you or tells you they read it somewhere. Make them give you a source, and then make them feel stupid for spreading around ignorance when you discover they are wrong. The time for patience and coddling is long past. We are too close to the election and the issues are too serious to take lightly. Don’t let people get away with spreading lies: check things out and make sure you correct people when they are wrong. Don’t be the asshole, too.

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one things of changing himself. - Leo Tolstoy

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