Wednesday, August 5, 2009

[SPAM] Life is always like that

Chain letters are the letters or email that induce the recipients to forward the letter or the message to some or all of them in their contact list, which often try to convey an engineered story or spread a rumor to a huge set of audience, with or without a harmful intent. Currently printed chain letters are becoming extinct, and it is transformed into the form of email, facebook wall posts, or similar social media communication. Some chain letters contain viruses and trojans which may affect the recipients once opened or executed the downloaded attachment.

People tend to forward chain-letters without analyzing the validity of their claims. Some chain letters try to appear as a letter for a good cause, such as a mail which seeks help to identify a missing child, or alerting the public or educating them on something important and urgent. It should be noted most of these innocent appearing mail too are hoaxes.

Some email claim that they will donate a considerable amount of money to a charity for the number of recipients the mail is forwarded, which can never be true as the number of times a mail sent can't be tracked down as it is claimed. Forwarding a chain-letter without confirming its validity is a bad practice, which should be avoided at all possible means. Confirm using Snopes or Hoax-Slayer, before spreading a message, as most of the messages are listed their with their validity, whether they are genuine or just hoaxes. Also make sure to report any new hoax to those sites, to help prevent these messages spreading.

The messages that are forwarded with the tag "for each copy you forward, this baby with this dangerous disease will get 50 cents!" - No one actually bothers to trace the number of times the mail is forwarded. Why should they bother to pay 50 cents for the fact that you forwarded that shit email? It is really irritating, when we get these mails even from software professionals and undergraduates, who are smart enough to consider these facts.

A mail asking for a kidney AB+, dated back to few months back being forwarded to at least 300 people. Mere forwarding doesn't mean you have done some good job. Ask someone personally if you really care, or give yours promptly! If you are not up for the help, don't expect the recipient of your mail to be so. 

It is just wasting the online resources, bandwidth, storage and everything with that html spam with all the baby images [That baby is still in her age of 5, since 1995, seeking your divine help]. I would better suggest thinking of the alternative ways of helping the poor people, rather than forwarding emails for them. In the long run, forwarding unsolicited junk mails like this, will definitely cost more than that '50 cents'. Thank God, most of these spam mail are now listed. Before forwarding 'help this child' email, do a simple google search with the mail subject. You will get a hit with the fact that the mail information is FALSE [or TRUE, in rare occasions of chain mails]. These email hoaxes are gruesome and more than enough to spoil the receivers' mood with the false claim. Latest Email hoaxes can be found here.

HTML mails, the other irritating factor! Even for a "hi, nice to meet you" note, I usually get an HTML message with all the graphical signatures, colours, and dancing monkeys, where a simple text format is nice and appropriate. Please send ASCII mails whenever possible. Most mail groups have even banned the HTML emails. Unnecessary attachments also should be avoided. Attachments in proprietary software format should always be avoided in a FOSS environment.

Emails having the threatening message similar to "Send this mail within 15 min to 15 people, else a stray dog will bite you" becomes the highlight of all. Funny to see, still people bother to send 15 mails as demanded in the spam. Some will have this line, "Pls forward this back to me as well, else I will feel sad." The same trend continues in social media networks such as Facebook in the form of wallposts or status updates.

Sending unrelated message to a mail group, then someone will reply, "why the hell did you send this here." The sender will apologize for that serious mistake in tears. Then a flow of +1 and -1 to both the people. The initial problem is solved; the mail thread is running for months. Let's ignore the mistakes and smile more.


  1. Appending an unrelated link with your comments on others' blogs to boost your business, is also considered spamming.
    HTH. :)


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