I received the following email the other day from Doug:
I’m still surprised at times when I get an e-mail forwarded to me that claims something is true without anyone having checked the validity of the contents. I recently got an e-mail regarding a Dr Dobson petition, and there were almost 3000 names on it already when it came to me. To me it should be common practice to people to do a quick & simple internet search to find out more information before blindly forwarding stuff to everyone on your contacts list. Even if the e-mail already has a link attempting to validate the information, I’m going to want more than one source reporting the same thing. One person forwarding an e-mail with 0-1 sources does not validate the contents.
I will usually copy/paste some main part of the text into Google and I’ll typically quickly find several resources that discuss the origin and validity of the information in the e-mail. Then I will reply to all on the e-mail I got and post a few of those links letting them know where to find more information and encouraging them to do likewise in the future when they get e-mails like this and are tempted to forward them to people. I would like to think that the audience that watch your videos are internet savvy enough to already know this but even if they are, perhaps they would encourage their circle of contacts (friends, relatives, community, etc) to squash useless e-mail chains instead of fueling them. What the world needs now is more useful information and less useless information to fill up our in-boxes, bog down the mail servers, and waste our time reading the garbage.
So I wanted to see how you felt about doing a video to your audience on this topic.
One of the first things you should do when receiving an email claiming “You’ll save this little girl’s life by forwarding this!”, or “Send me to ten friends right now!”… is to check with Snopes. The Snopes website is a huge ‘database’ full of urban legends and truths. I’ll bet 99% of the time that the email chains you receive are useless junk.
As Doug stated in his email, you can also paste a small part of the text of the email into Google, and research it. Don’t blindly forward an email like these. Know what it is you’re sending out. Know whether it’s even legitimate or not.
Also, stop sending emails to people with videos embedded in them. It’s horrible to do! There are SO many places online you can host the video for free. Then, just send out the link to the video. It’s smaller, and faster to send a simple link to someone. It’s just not cool to send entire videos in an email.
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