Listen up, everyone. Chiquita has something to get off her chest, and it's a situation I'm sure most of us have dealt with - the crazy email forward.
I like a good fight as much as anybody, but when the cons of starting a war begin to look a little obese, one has to find another way to deal with righteous anger. Guess what? Here’s where you come in to help me rant a
Who really enjoys those email forwards that everyone’s mom/grandma/Aunt Judith/second-cousin Flo sends—the ones predicting the death of America and our freedoms on the day of Obama’s induction as President, the doomsayers forewarning of the downfall of our health system, the religious forwards berating you for your lack of faith in not sending it on to ten more people who’ll inevitably send it right back—who really enjoys those? Well, sometimes, I do. That is, I usually roll my eyes and get a small chuckle out of them before I hit “Delete.”
I have a couple of those people, most of whom I love dearly enough that their emails elicit the eye-rolling and chuckling, but I have one or two relatives that tend to send the sort of forwards that the rest of my ignorant, redneck family tends to act upon. Being an elderly citizen some asshole entrusted with a computer, my grandmother frequently sends out forwards that run along the lines of the “I care about you so you should read this for your safety,” the sort that say if you’re a woman out alone, you should cut off all your hair so no strange man can grab it and throw you to the ground. Recently, I got one of those “safety” emails that explained how, if you’re ever being hailed by an unmarked police car with flashing red lights to pull over, you should call *77 to be linked directly to the police station to make sure you’re really being pulled over.
On one hand, how thoughtful! She really doesn’t want me to be raped! On the other hand, WTF. I’ve never heard of this *77 business. What do I do? What I always do when sent an email I actually read before deleting and find myself scratching my head: I went to snopes.com!
Since most of my family lives in Washington, and, let’s face it, they’re gullible enough to try dialing *77 instead of dialing 911 like we’ve all been taught since the age of two, I sent a reply-to-all email to everyone on their list. I thought it was nice!
Grandma and Grandpa,
That's great information, but I wanted to add something else, because I don't want anyone in the family getting hurt if they try the *77 and find out it doesn't help, so read this as well. There's a link there that says, rather than calling *77, you can just call 911, because not all states have that linked as the direct line to the police station. If you're in Washington, the *77 won't work; you'll need to call 911.
Pretty nice, huh? Apparently, my grandmother didn’t think so. In her response to me (directed solely to me, by the way), titled “About Snopes.com,” saying, “Good to know who’s giving out information,” she copy/pasted this entire article from Tony Passaro’s completely-true and totally-reliable blog. Here are a few highlights of his anti-Snopes argument:
I have been telling people this for months now. I knew I had caught them in 2 outright political lies. I'm glad others are smarter about their slanted point of view and pontifications. A newsman who allows his personal point of view to sway his news stories is no longer a newsman. He is then a gossip monger and this husband and wife team are just that "Gosip Mongers".!
...The reason for the questions - or skepticisms - is a result of snopes.com Claiming to have the bottom line facts to certain questions or issues, when in fact, they have been proven wrong. Also, there were criticisms the Mikkelsons were not really investigating and getting to the 'true' bottom of various issues. Also that they were slanting their reporting to support their Liberal Agendas.
When I saw that Snopes had falsely claimed that Obama's Birth Certificate had been properly validated, I realized something was wrong with either their research and/or their credibility. It seems something is seriously wrong with both.
...Then it has been learned the Mikkelson's are very Left Wing Radical IDEALOGS and extremely liberal.
As we all now know from this Presidential election, Liberals have a purpose agenda to discredit anything that appears to be conservative. There has been much criticism lately over the internet with people pointing out the Mikkelson's liberalism revealing itself in their website findings. Gee, what a shock!
...Another secret piece of OBAMA'S propganda system exposed to the light of day....
Bel Air Tea Party Coalition
Who wouldn't trust that guy, right?
Imagine how confused I felt when I read that, instead of responding to what I actually said, my grandmother was trying to tell me that I shouldn’t use Snopes.com as a reliable resource for research when, actually, I had just been letting my relatives know that *77 doesn’t work where they live…as evidenced by a source not endorsed by Snopes.com. Especially when her response was trying to tell me that I shouldn’t trust Snopes.com…because Wikipedia said so.
Unfortunately for my respect for my grandmother, her email to me this morning was already refuted by one of the resources used to create it: www.factcheck.org.
Talking about it with my dad proved to be fruitless. He feels I should refrain from responding. I’ve got this email ready to go. What do YOU think?
With all due respect, http://www.factcheck.org/2009/04/snopescom/ states that most of the allegations in this email you sent are unfounded. Although I do use Snopes.com as a starting point to check common forwards, I was hoping everyone from the original email would see that my response wasn't attempting to refute the information about *77, only point out that in Washington, it doesn't work...it's always better to default to 911. The *77 feature only works in some states on the East Coast, and that information would probably be helpful to your friends out there, so I'm sure they'd be happy to know it. Most of our family is in Washington, though, and because my family's well-being is important to me, I don't want anyone stuck in that situation and trying something that doesn't work when they should be using that valuable time dialing 911.
Should I send that? And who wants to make me feel better by telling their own 'crazy relative/crazy emails' story? My family can't be the only one.