As you are only too painfully aware, I am not shy about hitting the "send" button on my e-mail. So it may be ironic that I am sending you this message about being careful when you send out mail. All of you have received chain e-mail of various kinds--pleas, promises, threats, et al--only to realize later that they were hoaxes. So you'd think people would stop forwarding them. But, of course, the chain letters keep coming. I replied to one such message and learned something that I felt I should share with you. From no less than 12 separate sources in the past couple of weeks (including one today) I had received a chain letter about the Taliban and women's rights. When I wrote to the Brandeis University address mentioned in it, I got back an automated reply from the systems folks at the University. I urge you to read the message, which I enclose below. It shows you the consequences of forwarding chain letters. They're quite scary.
So here's to NOT forwarding chain letters. There are also Web sites below that describe almost every kind of chain letter, to help you identify hoaxes before you hit the forward button...
//Chagrined in NYC, Sree//
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Subject: Re: taliban
Due to a flood of hundreds of thousands of messages in response to an unauthorized chain letter, all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org is being deleted unread. It will never be a valid email address again.
If you have a personal message for the previous owner of that address, you will need to find some other means to communicate.
The text of the chain letter was originally Copyright 1997 Feminist Majority Foundation. email@example.com was not an organization, but a person who was totally unprepared for the inevitable consequences of telling thousands of people to tell fifty of their friends to tell fifty of their friends to send her email.
It is our sincere hope that the hundreds of thousands of people who continue to attempt to reply will find a more productive outlet for their concerns. There are several excellent organizations and individuals doing real work on the issues raised. Some of them were mentioned in sarabande's letter.
None of them authorized her actions.
We suggest that you contact them through non-virtual channels to help.
They all have web sites with information and contact points.
Unlike sarabande, they can channel your energy in useful directions.
Do not let this incident discourage you. Please do not forward unverified chain letters, no matter how compelling they might seem.
Propagating chain letters is specifically prohibited by the terms of service of most Internet service providers; you could lose your account.
Please also read:
Any replies to this message will be deleted unread. The issue is closed.