Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,

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Don’t Forward This Post to 10 of Your Friends!

I got an e-mail from a good friend of mine today. It started out like this:

“Sorry, need your help, it's quick and for a friend's kid's school project! (And you are the ones I thought might follow through - either because you have kids, you like science, or you're just plain nice.) This is for a science fair project.
If you could do this I would appreciate it! DON'T ASK, JUST PLAY! Copy and paste this entire letter into a new e-mail (PLEASE do NOT hit FORWARD), then read the list of names below. If your name is on the list put a star* next to it. If not, then add your name (in alphabetical order), and do not put in a star.
Send it to ten people and send it back to the person who sent it to you. Put your name in the subject box! You'll see what happens...
It's kind of cool! Please keep this going. Don't mess it up, please:
Aaron, Adam, . . .”
[and so on, through several dozen names]

Let’s start with Rule #1: Internet chain letters, just like old-fashioned postal chain letters, are at best hoaxes and at worst scams. Period. Why is this so difficult to grasp, generation after generation?

This leads us to Rule #2: Don’t pass along chain letters. Ever. No matter how heart-rending the story may be, no matter how much “fun” it seems like, no matter how much money is being promised by the text of the letter. They are at best a waste of the recipient’s time and at worst scams.

Finally, we have Rule #3: If the chain letter in front of you seems like an exception to the rules, so that “even though I don’t normally pass along chain letters, I have to make an exception this time,” please re-read Rules 1 & 2.

I don’t expect this airing of the rules to stop chain letters from happening, but I have to do what I can do! Hmmm… maybe if I put this post in an e-mail and sent it to 10 friends, and told each of them to send it to 10 friends…

If you’d like to read a more detailed debunking of the type of e-mail I received today, there is a very good write-up at this page on

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