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socially responsible or evil jerk?

Thursday, October 18, 2007
OK people, help me out. You get one of those completely false "Beware of this new carjacking scheme" e-mails from someone totally nice who thinks it's important to pass it along to 50 or so friends. You google it and discover, of course, that's it's been debunked on snopes since 2004. Do you:

1. delete it and ignore it
2. writer the original sender back and link to the debunking, and rely on them to alert everyone else to their mistake
3. reply all with the debunking link

How badly should I feel for number 3?


  1. Mrs. B said...

    I've actually spent some time thinking about this. But then, we think a lot alike sometimes.

    I think it depends on who originally sent you the email. For the hopeless spammers we all know, I've given up and just delete them. Method #3 is more likely to embarass and discourage the person from doing it again - which is fine, assuming that's partly your goal and the person is someone who really should know better, I think. Yes, somewhat evil, and it's like fighting the tide, but...

    Sometimes I go with #2 or #3, with a twist - I try to sound sincerely concerned and/or apologetic, especially if the original sender is someone who doesn't really get the whole "internets" thing. Something along the lines of "Hey, I found out this wasn't true - thanks goodness, because that's really scary/concerning/frightening/etc."

    10:23 PM  

  2. OH Bee Juan said...

    I've done #3...a lot.

    11:33 PM  

  3. The Maharaja said...

    #3 - feel nothing

    10:59 AM  

  4. Fred T. said...

    #3 every time. Anyone who sends out misinformation on a mass scale should be debunked on a mass scale. Particularly if the facts were easy to obtain (like

    Discouraging mass emails is not a bad thing.

    12:40 PM  

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