I just responded to a mass e-mail that a relative sent out about a missing girl. I responded just to let people know that it’s a hoax. A hoax that I first saw in 2006 (and it’s still making the damned rounds). I probably shouldn’t have said anything. People mean well. But geez. How much effort does it take to check this stuff out? I did a search on Google for the e-mail address listed in the original message, and found out that it’s a hoax. It took me all of five seconds to do that.
This annoys me on several levels.
There’s the obvious; that people are too lazy to check things out, but instead just forward junk to everyone in their contact list. I responded to everyone that my relative sent his e-mail to. That was 32 people. Included in the message was the headers from where this e-mail had been forwarded to 204 other people before he got it (yes, I counted). Who knows how many people those 204 sent the message to? 236 people since January 25th. If the first person in that chain had checked out this hoax when he got it instead of just forwarding it on, and had not passed it along, 236 people would have received one less piece of spam in their inboxes.
It always amazes me that some of the same people who complain so loudly about the amount of spam that they receive are some of the worst spammers. I have relatives who complain about the amount of junk they get in their inbox every day, but have no problem filling mine with “fun pages”, cheesy religious propaganda and Hillary Clinton jokes. I’d much rather get a message from a relative saying “Hey, Wic. How you been?” than five new variations on jokes about Democrats (that they’ve forwarded to a dozen other people).
Well, I’ll stop my rant there. Relatives might read this, and I’m sure one or two guilty consciences will take exception.
I’ll finish up by including the message I sent out in regard to the missing girl spam.
Hi, all. I hate to always be the party pooper, but I thought I should mention that this e-mail is a hoax. I only mention this because I’ve been getting this same e-mail for years (I think I first saw it in 2006). And, well, this falls under the definition of “spam”.
It’s estimated that 80 to 85% of all the email in the world (by conservative estimates) is spam.
I always check out stuff like this before I send it on. If you’d like to check things out in the future, all I did was search Google for the contact e-mail included in the message (HelpfindAshleyFlores@yahoo.com).
That search returned hits on the following pages;
“Ashley Flores is a real person, but she hasn’t gone missing, though she does have a friend who took leave of her senses. A friend of Ashley’s decided to pull a prank on her by modifying a popular missing child hoax to make it appear that Ashley had disappeared. Her source text was the Penny Brown hoax, circulating since 2001.”
“This is a hoax, circulating since May 2006. Neither the Philadelphia Police Department nor the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children lists a missing child by the name of Ashley Flores.”
I know everyone means well. A missing child certainly tugs at the heart-strings. But with the advent of Google, stuff like this is pretty easy to check out. Break the chain! 🙂