May 5, 2010

Report: avoid joining the e-mail chain of fools

From a report at the first link below:
Never in human history has so much knowledge been right at the fingertips of so many people, thanks to the internet. And yet some still choose to ignore that information and spread hoaxes with the click of the 'send' button.

We have all received e-mails with stories of anything from warning people that if they receive a link to a picture of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown smiling it will infect their computers with a virus to bogus alerts about flesh-eating spiders.

Do you forward all the e-mails you receive without checking out the stories or wild claims? If we don’t have time to research these forwarded e-mails, they end up in the recycle bin. At least 85% of them end up there anyway even if we do check them out.

John Ratliff, founder of, says people who forward e-mails usually “don't know when that e-mail was written. They don't know what's happened since the e-mail was written - they don't have the whole story.” More importantly, they don’t know if the e-mail was a hoax to begin with.

Two often forwarded e-mails involve former President George W. Bush.

In the first instance, Bush is supposedly reading to schoolchildren from a book he is holding upside down. It is a hoax. The photo (shown above) has been doctored.

The second is the photo of a billboard (shown below) showing a smiling George W. Bush with the message “Miss me yet?” This e-mail was not a hoax.

The billboard on Interstate 35 near Wyoming, Minnesota is real - see third link below.

Link here here and here.