Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Email forward

So about two weeks ago, my principal forwarded this email to all the teachers at our school. Feel free to skim it if you'd like...

Subject: Fw: FW: WARNING !!!

Please read this 'very carefully'..then send it out to all
the people online that you know.

Something like this is nothing to be taken casually this is something you DO want to pay attention to. If a person with the screen-name of ROOSTER goes by his name JOE WINWARD contacts you, do not reply. DO NOT talk to this person; do not answer any of his instant messages or e-mail . He has the ability to track your home address. Whoever this person may be, he is a suspect for murder in the death of (3) women (so far) contacted through the Internet. He is a suspect in a shooting and is known
for raping and beating young women. He is located in the IDAHO area. Please send this to all the women on your buddy list and ask them to pass this on, as well. This screen-name was seen on Yahoo and AOL so far. This is not a joke!
Please send this to men too...just in case! Send to everyone you know! Ladies,
this s serious!
Thank You.
Cassia County Sheriff and
Phone: (208)878-2251

Let me ask you, my friends...what's your first reaction to this?
Yep. A hoax. Plain as day. To prove that it was a hoax, I went to a popular hoax website and typed in "Rooster".
I sent an email back to the principal (after editing it to make sure that it didn't imply that he was stupid to not realize it was a hoax).
I've gotten numerous other emails like this from other people in the district. It's amazing how gullible some people are.
In any case, I want to thank you, my friends, for being smart enough to recognize a hoax...and for not mass-forwarding things like this.
To his credit, the principal immediately forwarded my email to everyone else, and then came sheepishly up to my room to (kind of) apologize.
What are some of the things that tipped you off to it being a hoax? Was it the fact that they couldn't even spell "investigation" correctly? Or was it something else?


Cougarg said...

I didn't even notice the misspelling there at the end until you pointed it out. I think the insistence of forwarding it on to everyone raised a flag. As did, "this is not a joke," and the section where the caps lock seemed to be stuck. Someone in a position of authority would be more professional in any communication. I am quite surprised that people I generally regard as intelligent go along with stuff like this.

Brightonwoman said...

The six "fwd" in the subject line, the repeated "do not delete this" along with "THIS IS REAL" and other misuse of caps. Oh yeah, and the misspellings, lack of grammar, etc.
Honestly, I make typos...but if I were making an official announcement, I'd spellcheck. Also I would give references, quotes, news article links, etc.
Because if you have to repeat "this is true" then that's a good indication that it's not.
I have actually blocked email addresses of friends because all they ever sent me was forwards like this.
Honestly, I think that forwards in general are lame. I send very very few...perhaps 3 a year. I kill them when they come to me. I don't care if I die at midnight and get eaten by lightning bugs--I won't pass it on. :D

Anonymous said...

The "Something is nothing is something" line had me thinking "this must be a joke" right from the beginning.

"He is located in the IDAHO area," sounded unrealistically vague, as if the state name had just been pasted into a blank.

Even if there was a Joe "Rooster" Winward with some special way of tracking your address through the internet ... oh, wait. My address is already out there. Joe could look me or anyone else up in the phonebook or something if he was really after me.

I guess we just need to live my life in a way that I won't be a stand-out target. Like not being too open chatting with anyone I don't know over the internet. Advice or warnings from a legitimate source would speak to more general principles of safety rather than panicking over one particular killer.

And if there was an emergency threat from one guy, notification would come through a more conventional source, like special news bulletin on TV and radio stations.