Electronic Chain Letters and Mindless Forwards
Chain letters ask their recipients to spread e-mail by forwarding them to as many
as possible. In chain letters and e-mails, there are stated "benefits" for forwarding
them, and there are often stated consequences, as well, for NOT forwarding them.
Chain Letters and e-mails do not have to be get-rich or good luck schemes either.
They cover all kinds of topics. Never forward chain letters and forwarded and
reforwarded e-mails with huge lists of cc's STILL in the message body area!
(cc's are lists of user e-mails showing who the e-mail was forwarded to and from)!!
Chain E-Mails in my view also include those messages opening with an enticement
containing positive topics, such as good things that happened, things that teach
something, things that produce a benefit like money or luck, and things involving
a web page that the sender liked, YET are FOLLOWED by a REQUEST to
Forward the message!!! For these type mails, I simply will NOT participate !!
Mindless Forwards are those unlike chain
letters that demand multiple reforwarding.
These instead contain e-mail attachments that appear embedded with further internal
attachments that have to be opened completely to read the actual message!!
(I once got one with 6 attachments!) Another characteristic of Mindless Forwards
are those containing huge lists of users (I call it the "cc" list) above the message!
The senders of these do not bother to strip the "cc-lists" off before forwarding!
My "take" on Chain E-Mails and those which I call "Forwarded Forwards":
Golden Rule!! Treat others as you would like to be treated -
with respect! Send something beneficial, but PLEASE don't ask that it
be forwarded!! The decision to forward is NOT the sender's!! Most people
appreciate a personal e-mail meant just for them! Most busy people (like me,
can't you tell??) do not like to be recipients of chain and mass-forwarded e-mails!!
A lot of them have included layers of attachments filled with forwarding statements
that do not even contain the message! This is the depths of poor Netiquette and
disrespect by senders who, by the nature of their e-mails, force recipients to open a
stream of cascaded e-mail attachments, just to access the message primarily
intended to be read in the first place!
on e-mails that have been heavily forwarded, and worse,
leaving the huge cc-list on the main text, is infuriating and offensive!!
By "Following the leader" as a "mindless forwarder", one may lose friends!
Be courteous to the citizens of cyberspace and they will welcome your e-mail!
On the other
hand, if one sends along chain and Mindlessly Forwarded e-mail,
one might end up being hated and ostracized; or, one's e-mail address might get
blocked by those who don't want re-forwarded and/or chain-letter style e-mails.
Nightscribe's Advice on forwarding e-mail is condensed to a few simple rules:
all forwarding cc lists out of the e-mail body. Good E-mail is
(uniquely sent to one recipient) so why would one want to make it look like
the sender is poking a head out of a noisy party and saying: "Come on in,
we're having a good time!" I only want my recipients to read e-mail from
me, not sharing it with a mob of "Forwarditis Victims" cc'd all over the e-mail!
2. If you
must "be efficient" by sending to your list all at once, then use the
copy (bcc) method. So the users don't see your e-mail list in the forwarded e-mail!
3. Personalize the message by preceding it with a short note on why it is sent.
The reader will appreciate the message if he/she knows the sender cares by
selecting the message for his/her own enjoyment and/or benefit!
ask recipients to send it on (forward it). That starts the "Reforwarding
of forwards and the chain mail cycle all over again. There are a great deal of
people afflicted with the condition I call "Forwarditis". When an e-mail
requests the action to "pass it on", "send it" or "forward it", I can almost
guarantee these people thus afflicted, will send the e-mail all over the internet,
again slowing the Net down all the more because of it.
forget to strip off the "Hotmail", "Yahoo" or "ICQ" ad footers often
found at the bottom of mass forwards. Example forwarding footer ads:
"Get your FREE E-Mail at www.hotmail.com" Or:
"Do You Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail - Free email you can access from anywhere!
http://mail.yahoo.com/" YUKK!! Such ads are simply revolting, so get rid of
them when you forward an e-mail sent to you with these included at the bottom!
Remember, "epidemics" of re-forwarded e-mail are part of a game
NOT want to be part of. Simply delete all of these kinds of e-mails AND don't
forward them! "Re Forwarded Forwarded" e-mails show evidence of having
been packed into a semi rig dumpster carrier, and spewed into all the neighbors
yards!! All who are connected to the internet are automatically included within
the growing huge population called "the cyber community". So, don't litter
up cyberspace with Chain Mail and Mindless Reforwarded Forwards!
7. Think it
over before forwarding Forwarded e-mail or Chain e-mails.
When in doubt, DON'T, especially those including big "cc lists"!
Another way to be sure it is OK to forward a mail, is send a preliminary
single line personal e-mail, and ask the intended recipients (Including
friends!) if they wouldn't mind getting forwarded e-mail. I think it is a very
respectful thing to do, to ask first. If the reply says "No Way" or contains
another negative response, by ALL Means do NOT follow-up with forwarded
mail !!!!!!!!!!!! If receiving yes answers, then it is likely there is still trust on the
part of the intended recipients, so then forwarded mail is allowed to be sent.
However, I strongly encourage the implementation of the courtesies outlined
above, BEFORE forwarding them; if one simply "forwards the forward",
then I can assure that the "electronic welcome mat" will soon be removed,
and the senders of such mail may also become regarded with contempt, along
with those sending commercial SPAM mail, HOAX Mail, Chain Mail, etc.
Summary: Chain Mail stinks, especially Reforwarded e-mail with
forwarding messages, begging fthe reader for more forwarding to occur!!!
Disclaimer: If on the other hand, there are buddies that love to exchange
chain letters and forwarded reforwards, that is their option AND risk :)
Now that you have seen my comments and advice
on this topic, there are
solid web resources on Chain E-Mail and Forwards. Because I have found
via search engines many "billions" of web pages on unsolicited e-mail, chain
e-mails and e-mail forwarding, I have selected only sites that have the most
relevance. Why would I want to waste your time, like I would if I forward the
OK- here are a few links, then two great quotes on the topic.
to school on Chain Letters at Rutgers Web
EFF Chain Letter Archive
E-Mail Facts of Life
How to Defeat a Chain Letter
Anti-Chain Letter on 7 Types of Chain Letters
Copy of an Anti-Chain Mail "Chain Mail"
DOE on Electronic Chain Mail
DOE Chain Mail List of examples
A dissected Chain Letter
IBM on Stopping Chain Letters and Hoaxes
How to React to Chain letters
Chain Letter Protection Pact
Chain Letter Dilemna
One Small Effort to Turn the Tide of CyberJunk
A QUOTE on Electronic Chain Mail by DOE ASSIST:
"ALWAYS consider any message that
recommends universal forwarding as suspect,
especially if it also includes a central target address. To our knowledge, there has never been a
legitimate use of this type of communication (and it is illegal to do this through the U.S. mail).
While you may have concerns that a needy charity may be losing some benefit, the damage from
these messages is far greater than the minimal possibility that the note is legitimate. So, as a rule,
we recommend that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES DO YOU PROPAGATE CHAIN LETTERS
OF ANY KIND THROUGH E-MAIL."
Another Quote From Chain Letter Central:
"Send Chain Letters Responsibly: This may come as a great shock, but many people hate getting
chain letters. Please do not send chain letters to someone who does not wish to receive them. Sending
chain letters to people who haven't requested them can cause loss of friendship, profane e-mail responses,
and ostracism. Generally, chain letters annoy the bejeebers out of people. So think a minute or two before
clicking that send button!"
Amen on these sage quotes!
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