Please stop junk messages

Junk mails and its variants, to our chagrin, seems to be here to stay. The chain-email variants are the worst. I hate chain-emails so instead of sending variants of the same email response, I will just put it here and just link it…

Don’t take this letter personally because i send this to everybody. It might take a serious and sarcastic note but please be reminded that I wont send it to you unless I still want to receive emails from you. 🙂

Please stop sending (at least to me) chain/junk-emails. They usually come in the following formats (not entirely exhaustive list but you will get the gist)

  1. A letter telling you to forward it unless something bad happens to you.
  2. A letter telling you that some sick bastard with 3 nipples fooled some bigname company to donating $1000 for every person you forward that email to.
  3. A letter telling you a beautiful poem/story/article and then tells you to pass it on to X people or else…
  4. A letter telling you a seemingly fun game but ending with an instruction to pass it on to X number of people or else…
  5. A letter telling you that your wish won’t come true or something bad will happen to you if you will not forward it to X number of people on Y number of minutes…
  6. A letter telling you that you have a virus because you have a file so and so on your pc…
  7. A letter telling you that you will receive something (an expensive gadget, a travel package, or maybe even the moon) if you forward it to your friends…
  8. A letter telling you a prayer, prose or a religious story and ends with “God will do something for you if you forward it to your friends”, “Show how you love God by forwarding this to your friends’, or something like those… It also has a variation wherein it just tells you to forward the spam message if you really believe in your religion.

The main reason why you shouldn’t forward them is because you only contribute in clogging the Internet with meaningless traffic. I am in the IT industry and I am telling you that every small bit of meaningless bandwidth traffic does contribute on clogging the main information superhighway the same way a small candy wrapper can cause floods in a city. But to be specific, here are the reasons why you really shouldn’t forward the things mentioned above:

  1. It is meaningless without any entertainment value. Nothing will happen to you. Its just a couple of bytes. Oh, something bad might happen to you, you might lose a friend. At least you might lose me.
  2. No company can track how many times an email has been forwarded. Technically they can but the process would be too complicated and it is also illegal. Remember the powers of two table? Assume that each recipient will forward it to two persons and so on and so forth, how many people would be involved on the 20th iteration? The answer would be 1048576 people. No company would risk donating that kind of money because that figure is still a conservative approximation even if we are talking only of 1 cent per forward.
  3. It is #1 attached to a good piece of writing. Do everybody a favor and cut out the part that says forward it to somebody else. If it is really a good piece of writing then people will forward it on their own and you don’t need to tell it to them. Stop being a tyrant. Let them make that kind of decision for themselves.
    Sometimes the “else” portion is implicit like “Pass this to all of the people whom you care about” which accomplishes the same thing: put the reader into a mindset that will skew the possibility of forwarding it to a very high probability.
  4. Same as #3.
  5. Same as #3. A piece of poem/game/essay can’t change your luck. If it can then everybody who followed it should have been filthy rich or super happy. Majority of them aren’t.
  6. Please check it on a renowned anti-virus sites like Symantec avcenter. If it is not in there then it is a hoax. You might already be deleting a system file which can make your operating system malfunction. Forward virus warnings only if it contains a reliable link that you have verified yourself.
  7. Same as #5.
  8. Last but not the least, God doesn’t love that way. He loves unconditionally. Don’t put a limit on how God loves us or how God measures your loyalty to Him. If you forwarded that mail because you believed the reprisal of not following then you are not as religious as you think. Faith should be born out of pure intentions and not through fear, guilt or greed.

To summarize it all, here are the guidelines for sending out a personal email:

a. Don’t forward something that has no entertainment or educational value.
b. If it does have a redeeming value, snip the instructions forcing recipients to forward them. Also remember to cut-out email addresses of people who previously received that mail to prevent them from being harvested by more spammers.
c. If you are forwarding “helpful” information, take the time to verify it first. No information is better than wrong information because the first one is easily addressed while the latter is a hydra that is difficult to kill.
d. Think before you act. If you start looking silly and stupid because you did not exercise common sense then you only have yourself to blame. And count on me to say to you how silly and stupid you sounded. And yes, I will use REPLY TO ALL to get better mileage for this crusade of mine.
e. Follow the golden rule (or at least use some common sense).

Please visit this >>site< < or this >>site<< when trying to verify if the email you currently have is genuine or a rehash of viral spam messages.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dodge
    Nov 17, 2006 @ 21:30:07

    Correct the content of the article. Seems the junk or spam will stack our systems. I have about 100 spams a day and I don`t know how to stop it!

  2. Erin
    Nov 19, 2006 @ 20:27:51

    hi dodge,

    there usually are tools that a mail admin or a normal user can utilize to cut down spam. if you can give some details on what you use and what anti-spam measure you currently have installed then maybe we can figure something out.


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