01 September 2008

a question of Snopes

Somebody you love (or in your family) forwards one of those email-chains. It's not even too bad, the content is not racist or virulently conservative, even though it might be interpreted as a veiled anti-Muslim piece. Quite a few people are CCed in the email. What do you do?

  1. You just ignore the email. Nobody "on the net" pays attention to those anyway.
  2. You reply only to the sender, pointing to the relevant Snopes link, and admonishing on the perils of forwarding this sort of chain.
  3. You hit "reply to all", pointing to the Snopes link. The level of "flamin' & shamin'" in the reply will depend on your willingness to maintain a friendship with the original person.

This just happened to me, and the sender was... my mother, who increasingly uses email (without being particularly techno-inclined).

After careful consideration, I went for option 3, keeping the tone as soft as possible. I have to say I've done it because it explicitly mentioned "UK schools" in a negative tone for something they are not, in fact, doing at all. I also thought this might teach my mom never to forward this sort of things, no matter how good they seem, in a stronger way than just admonishing "behind the scenes". However, I now feel a bit guilty.

What would you have done in my situation?

(This is clearly material for a comedy sketch...)

1 comment:

gpiancastelli said...

However, I now feel a bit guilty.

Indeed. I think I would have gone for 2. No need to do that sort of things in public, especially because most people react to that kind of chains with option 1, i.e. they do not even pay attention.