Attention Email Rumor Forwarders! Er, e-Forwarders? Ru-warders? Emailer, emailing the forwards... the Forwarder... Forwarding the rumors...
Oh wait! I got it: Attention Conspiracy-believing-fwding-addicts! Society watchdogs!
I hereby christen you Email Vigilantes.
Should you choose to continue your pursuit of the "hot topic," consider this:
Just because you have a hotmail account doesn't mean you have a hotline to FBI/CIA/Secret Service files on current public figures. Really. Please listen carefully. And get in close, I'm going to whisper.
Not every email story/breaking news flash/character reference is TRUE. Just because it came TO your inbox doesn't mean it came FROM someone truthful/in-the-know/uninterested in scandalous e-rumors or slander. The fate & future of our society does not rest on your deliberate choice of forwarding or deleting. Promise.
Did you catch that? Are you still with me? Because Email Vigilantes are rampant today. Oh, you know who you are. You got that email about potential car-jackers, and you forwarded it to everyone in your address book. Ditto for the one about spiders living under toilet seats. And the end of social security... truth about taxes.... truth about Congress - don't even get me started on the bizarre nature of the ones flying around during this last election cycle. Really. Don't.
As one family member put it: "You must spend a lot of time defending your candidate!" Actually... no. I do not. Because organizations already exist that do an efficient job with this stuff! All it takes is a lift of the finger, a click of the mouse, a few simple words, and Bob's your uncle.
And now, for your vigilante enlightenment, here are the secret agencies that cover all this e-rumor fodder, sift the verifiable fact from the rumor and protect us all from e-garbage - should we choose to use their services.
www.truthorfiction.com - wow. That seems so cut and dried. Truth or Fiction.
www.snopes.com - again, wow. Not one, but two sites that are all over this blight.
And blight it is! Blight, I say. Blight! Makes you smile, right? A blight, bloke! It's a bloody blight on the internet community. I mean, the absurdity of some of these things... is way obvious. But the all-too-human-urge to believe in conspiracies and spread the fear? Strong. Powerful. Almost irresistible. Fight it, my countrypeople - fight it!
Pinkie swear right now that you will henceforth Do Your Part to verify each and every email that even slightly smells of rumor-millage. If it turns out to be true, go to town with it. Spread it like it's hot. Unverifiable? File it under D for delete. Dead on arrival. End of the road. Deal? Deal.
Are we cool now?