Everything Under the Moon banner

Witchcraft Spells ~~ Love Spells ~~ Money Spells ~~ Search


Email Facts O'Life

E-Mail Facts Of Life Ver. 4.9 Updated Mar. 12, 2002

(Please save this message for future reference, and to send to anyone who insists on buying into and forwarding every "WARNING!", amazing offer, (formerly) hot joke or improbable story they receive.)

* Please see the following sites for more information about urban legends and Internet hoaxes:







* Legitimate businesses do NOT advertise via spamming (sending unsolicited bulk e-mail ads -- e-junkmail). If you actually try to buy something from one of the fly-by-night frauds that does engage in this practice you are simply throwing away money. If you send one of these people your credit card number, or anything else for that matter, you *deserve* to get ripped off and added to 1200 spam mailing lists. And you will. If you have not personally dealt with the company in question before, satisfactorily, you have ZERO reason to trust them. Don't. And If you think you'll get rich advertising something via spamming, you are in for an unpleasant surprise. You'll probably get enough death threats to keep you having nightmares for months, and it'll be a miracle if your Internet access is not revoked by your Net service provider, with no refund, within about 15 minutes.

* Big companies don't do business via chain letter. Disney is not giving you a free vacation, you will not receive a free case of M&Ms, and neither Old Navy nor the GAP will send you a coupon. Likewise, there isn't any baby food company issuing class-action checks. Microsoft, AOL and Intel are not giving you money to send e-mail. No companies can tell who you are or aren't sending mail to. The Net simply does not work that way. You'd have no privacy at all if it did. And there is no Nigerian former general who'll make you rich if you send some money to help him out in the short term. If you have not PERSONALLY (i.e., you, yourself) verified the wacky promotional or investment scheme you've heard about with those allegedly responsible for it, you have no reason to believe in it. Don't.

* Just because someone said in the message, several forwarding generations back, "we checked it out and it's legit", does not actually make it true. The twit that wrote the hoax (and the "we checked it out" lie) is practically peeing him/herself from laughing so hard at everyone falling for it.

* If you ever get some kind of newsy tidbit off the net that generates a "wow, this is unbelievable" first reaction in you, trust that instinct. If it sounds too good, bad, or weird to be true, it probably is. Don't forward it around unless YOU verify it with trustable sources; otherwise it's almost certainly b.s. Even if the latest NASA rocket disaster(s) DID contain plutonium that went to particulate over the eastern seaboard, do you REALLY think this information would reach the public via an e-chainletter? Same goes for flesh-eating bacteria in bananas, and the "Klingerman virus" spreading like wildfire (it doesn't exist). A health risk that huge would be on every news show on every channel already, if it were real. You are not Walter Cronkite, and the world is definitely not looking to you to provide them with unverified "news" updates.

* Always be skeptical. Be extremely skeptical between March 25 and April 10. And if you pass on some incredible story that is actually dated April Fool's Day, you deserve every bit of abuse you're going to get. Speaking of holidays, we don't need your Christmas forwards, either.

* Craig Shergold in England is not dying of cancer or anything else at this time and would like everyone to stop sending their business cards and get-well-soon e-mail (to him, or to any foundation, hospital or other institution). He apparently is also no longer a "little boy". He DID get into the Guinness Book of World Records -- several years ago -- for having received the most letters in the world, and the daily bulging bags of cards and letters is a curse he and his family desperately want to be rid of. The dying kid story just isn't true, and this fact of e-life also goes for Greg Sherman, Kraig Shumacher, Chris Sherwood and all the other (non-existent) dying kids mentioned in a slew of hoaxes based on the original Shergold posts. And it still won't be true even if it looks like it came from the National Cancer Institute or the Make-a-Wish Foundation. These are both real institutions doing fine work, but they are as tired of this as we all are. The latter organization has had to establish a special toll free hotline in response to the large number of Internet hoaxes abusing their good name and reputation. It is distracting them from the important work they do. Don't be part of the problem.

* Neiman Marcus doesn't really sell a $200 cookie recipe. And even if they did, we all have it. And even if you don't, you can get a copy at: http://www.bl.net/forwards/cookie.html. Then, if you make the recipe, and decide the cookies are that awesome, feel free to pass the recipe on. Without the silly (and false) story attached to it.

* There is no "modem tax" and there is no "bill 604p". Neither the Postal Service, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, nor Congress (nor the Canadian, UK, or Australian parliamentary bodies) have any intention of imposing a tax, tarriff or surcharge on Internet or e-mail access. Your state public utilities commission isn't going to do it either. ISPs are NOT going to be charged long distance fees, nor will they pass this entirely imaginary cost onto consumers. If you see alerts about something like this, DELETE THEM, and tell the senders and all other recipients that it is a hoax. If something like this really did happen, it'd be in the newspaper, and you'd see bulletins from known, verifiable consumer organizations (probably beginning, "We know this sounds like that old 'modem tax' hoax...")

* If an action alert seems even slightly plausible, ask yourself whether you can tell what organization or individual issued it. Is there evidence to support the claims? Is the alert also posted on their Web site with documentation to back it up? Would you risk your own reputation by relying on the accuracy of what you've just read? For more information on what to look for in a legitimate action alert, and how to write one, see here:




* IF THE MESSAGE IS IN ALL CAPS, LIKE THIS and it isn't from your grandparents, just delete it immediately. It was written by some brat prankster who doesn't quite know how to type yet.

* If a message says anything to the effect of "this won't work unless you send it to at least 15 people", "you must copy this urgent action alert to EVERYONE you know", "this game won't work unless you send this e-snowball to everyone in your addressbook" or "please send this message to all your friends and family", the message is trash. Delete it now. It is stupid nonsense authored by an undersocialized nimrod with no friends, who is hoping to prey on your gullibility. You will not get a secret surprise (other than loss of friends because you keep sending them junkmail) for forwarding 11 copies of a joke or motivational message. (While the Net can't magically track your e-mail habits and reward you for spamming your acquaintances and family, it's too bad you can't be punished for it...)

* Don't you DARE forward "luck" chain letters, or any other kind of chain letter. We don't care how superstitious you are. You can relax; there is no need to pass the chain letter on "just in case it's true". These hoax chain letters exist to waste Net resources and people's time, nothing more. If you are one of those insufferable idiots who forwards anything that promises "something bad will happen if you don't re-send this", be aware that something bad will happen to you if you don't stop -- like losing friends, losing your Internet access by violating your ISP's Net abuse rules, having your mailbox flooded with angry responses, etc. Do you REALLY believe that some dork in Idaho cranking out annoying, menacing chain letters (or friendly, but even more annoying, "God loves you and will grant your prayer" chain letters) actually has the mystical ability to affect the course of your future? In that case, SEND ME $100 *RIGHT NOW* or your nose hair will grow to be 50 feet long! If you do not do this within 24 hours, your eyeballs will pop out of your head and sing Disney songs that summon a score of demonic vampire children to suck your blood! If you DO comply, you will become President in two weeks, and will sit at the right hand of God himself! For real! OBEY! OBEY! OBEY!

* Speaking of chain letters, please learn this and know it: pyramid scams DO NOT WORK. "Multi-level marketing" (MLM) scams DO NOT WORK. You will NOT make money. Such chain letters are actually illegal in many places. Don't participate in them.

* There is no kidney theft ring in New Orleans or Mexico. No one is waking up in a bathtub full of ice, even if a friend of a friend swears it happened to their cousin. If you are hellbent on believing the kidney-theft ring stories, please see: http://urbanlegends.tqn.com/library/weekly/aa062997.htm

Relevant quote:

"The National Kidney Foundation has repeatedly issued requests for actual victims of organ thieves to come forward & tell their stories. None have." That's "none," as in "ZERO". Not even your friend's supposed cousin. It all comes from a rather lackluster Miguel Ferrer movie. FICTION.

* There is no "Good Times" virus. In fact, you should never, ever, forward any e-mail containing any virus warning unless you first confirm it at the Web site of a company or organization that actually deals with viruses and computer security problems. Try:



And even then, don't forward it. We don't care, and it won't help. (The "I Love You" virus did amazing amounts of damage in a matter of a day or two, despite the fact that everybody and their dog were spamming every address in their e-addressbooks with virus warnings about it). And especially don't forward warnings about viruses so bad they destroy your hard drive as soon as you download them. There is no such thing, or every computer on the planet would be toast by now. The simplest way to avoid e-mail viruses is to simply never open attachments that come from people you don't know and trust.

* We all know exactly how many engineers, blondes, college students, Usenet posters and people from each and every world ethnicity it takes to change a lightbulb. We also already know 100 ways to drive your roommates crazy, irritate co-workers, gross out bathroom stall neighbors and creep out people on an elevator. We don't care if you are laughing so hard you may have ruptured your spleen. EVERYONE ELSE HAS ALREADY SEEN THAT JOKE 10 TIMES THIS WEEK, no matter how new it is to you. If you must pass it on, tell it at the bar, at school, at your job, or some other offline place. (But be prepared for "Yeah, yeah, I read that one years ago in e-mail".) If you've been on the Net for at least 5 years and are certain it's new and you insist on e-mailing it again, your "Bcc:" list had better be short or you're going to lose aquaintances/victims faster than you can replace them.

* And on a similar note, if your "Cc:" list is regularly longer than the actual content of your message, you're probably going to be punished eternally. (Ever heard of "Bcc:"?) Spammers (junk e-mailers) love it when you do big "Cc:" lists. They eventually get a copy and send you and everyone else on the list copies of their wonderful ads for "CHEAP LAZER PRINTER TONER!!!" and "HOT NEKKID BARELY-LEGAL BABES WAITIN FOR U!!!". Just don't go there. Some background for the very new e-mail user: "Cc:" means "carbon-copy", i.e. "send a copy of this message to these people (victims) as well as to the recipient(s) on the 'To:' line, and let all recipients know who else has received a copy". The "Bcc:" means "blind carbon-copy", i.e. "send copies to all of these victims, but at least spare them the horror of giving every recipient every other recipient's e-mail addresses". If sending to multiple parties who are not already acquaintances with eachother, it is generally pretty darned rude and invasive to use "Cc:" (or multiple recipients in the "To:" header) instead of "Bcc:". Imagine someone giving your phone number and home address to everyone that they know but you don't. Get it? PS: If you use "Bcc:", you leave the "To:" header *empty*. Don't put the first recipient's address in there. You don't even have to put yours -- when 90% of your recipients get angry at you for sending them re-hashed junk e-mail and want to send you angry responses, they can find your address in the "From:" header. Your e-mail software automatically includes that information - perhaps for purposes of accountability and poetic justice.

* If you're using Outlook, Microsoft Mail, Netscape, Eudora or other fancy software to write email, turn off "HTML encoding", "Send e-mail as HTML", "format=flowed", "multimedia e-mail", "stationery" and other so-called features. Those of us with nice, simple e-mail programs that adhere to actual Internet standards can't read it, and don't care enough to save your huge file attachments or inlined bandwidth-sucking multimedia garbage, and then view it with a Web browser or image viewer. Especially since you're probably just forwarding us a copy of the naked Santa Claus picture we've all seen 50 times already. While you're at it, turn off so-called "smart quotes" (a.k.a. "curly quotes"). They look like gibberish on every other operating system, since the codes to generate those characters are not standardized in any way.

* In the same vein, if your e-mail software gives you the option to send "vCards", ".vcf files", "e-business cards" or any other auto-generated and long-winded signature file attachment, it's a really bad idea, brought to you by IBM and a consortium of database companies. The idea was so bad, the consortium has folded. TURN IT OFF. If we want the online equivalent of your business card, we'll ask you for your contact information personally. Please remember that your little 15 kilobyte vCard is a 1.5 (or 15!) MEGAbyte pile of vCards when you post to a big mailing list. And consider the fact that anyone who regularly gets your e-mail will end up with 10, 100, 1000 copies of your wretched vCard eventually. Hardly anyone still has software that can even read vCards anyway. Just stop. We all beg you.

* Speaking further of attachments, the rest of the world does not own a computer just like yours. AVI movies can be generated by any number of encoders that a lot of other people don't have. And just because you get a kick out of watching a fake CNN broadcast of the President getting a hummer on YOUR machine doesn't automatically mean that the file will be of any interest to, or even viewable by, any of the recipients on your Bcc list. (You ARE using Bcc, right?) Same goes for .BMP files. If we see one more mock postage stamp with Clinton behind bars, someone's going to die. Add in the fact that attachments like this take an eternity to download from a standard e-mail account, and take up wads of space in the mailbox, and you might begin to see the point. If not, hopefully someone you've bombarded with this junk will happily return everything you send three or four times until you do. If the size of your message is in double digits, you're making a mistake. If you MUST share the multimedia files you think are funny with everyone whose e-mail address you have, just put it on the Web, and send people the URL. (Beginners: a URL is that "http://www.whatever.com/directory/filename" kind of address that people use to locate something on the Web.)

* Same goes for .EXE files (i.e. Windows programs). Contrary to what Mr. Gates tells you, the entire world hasn't bought the stuff he's selling. These things don't run on Macintosh or Unix systems.

* If you still absolutely MUST forward that 10th-generation message from a friend, at least have the decency to trim the eight miles of headers showing everyone else who's received it over the last 6 months. It sure wouldn't hurt to get rid of all the ">" quoting that begins each line. Besides, if it has gone around that many times, we've all already seen it. Twice. At least.

* If you're replying to something on a mailing list, send the reply to the author of the message you are replying to, not the whole list, unless you're sure that the vast majority of people on the list will actually be interested in your response. And don't quote the entire original message. Cut out the material that is not directly relevant to what you have to say. Almost nothing is more irritating than a reply, reading "Me, too!" to a message that was 100 lines long, with all 100 lines quoted in the reply at the top before the one-liner response. Fortunately, some news readers and list management software won't even LET you make posts like that any more.

* You do NOT need to put more than one exclamation point in a subject line. Not only is it ungrammatical (i.e., stupid-looking), it will trigger the spam filter of many seasoned Internet users, and your message will end up discarded, unread. Just about the only mail that has "!!!" anywhere in the subject line is: a) junk e-mail trying to steal your credit card number; b) a bad cookie recipe, fake virus warning, joke everyone was tired of in 4th grade, etc., forwarded by someone who should know better; or c) an blathering message from an annoying yokel inlaw who just discovered the Internet and who got your e-mail address from your cousin. In any case, you probably don't want read it if it has more than one "!" in the subject.

* Forget e-mail "petitions". Yes, women really are suffering in Afghanistan, PBS and NEA funding are still vulnerable to periodic attack, and this and that endangered species are still endangered. But forwarding an e-mail won't help any such cause in the least. If you want to help, contact your local legislative representative, or get in touch with Amnesty International, the Red Cross, the World Wildlife Fund, or another relevant organization. E-petition "signatures" are easily faked and mean NOTHING to anyone with any power to do anything about whatever the wanna-be "petition" is complaining about. E-mail petitions are not legally valid, and a waste of everyone's time and energy. If you really care, and you're not just trying to make yourself feel better without actually doing anything, then get outdoors and start a REAL petition.

* BOTTOM LINE: Composing e-mail or posting something to discussion groups is as easy as writing on the walls of a public restroom. Don't automatically believe something unless you have real evidence of its truth. ASSUME it's false, unless there is proof that you can see for yourself. And don't perpetuate bad habits. Get it? Got it? Good!

* Now, COPY AND PASTE this message to ten friends and you will win the Publishers Clearinghouse sweepstakes, you'll get all your taxes back, you'll get propositioned by that hottie you don't have guts to say hi to, your car will run fine for the next ten years with no maintenance, you'll get that magic credit card that will fix your money problems, and that funny growth on your chin will go away... Or maybe NOT.


[Prepared and updated as an unofficial service of the Electronic Frontier Foundation to the Internet community, by Stanton McCandlish, co-author of "Protecting Yourself Online" and co-developer of the effective and verifiable online action alert format. This document is based on an anonymous original version dating to some time around 1998, plus a variety of also anonymously-produced alternate versions, and, finally, updated to reflect new widespread hoaxes, chain letters, and frauds. The humorously sarcastic tone of the original has been preserved. This version Copyright 1999-2001, Electronic Frontier Foundation; redistributable at will provided it is not modified. If you want to make your own version for whatever reason, please start from the original.]



Home ~~ Witchcraft Spells ~~ Love Spells ~~ Money Spells

Witchcraft Forum ~~ Q & A ~~ Articles ~~ Store

Ghost Stories ~~ Healing ~~ Astral Projection
Starwitch ~~ Free Readings ~~ Facebook

Copyright 1998 - Today - Everything Under the Moon

Artwork and some content featured on this site is copyright protected by the artist/author.
If you want your art or content removed, please drop me a note.