Monday, October 6, 2008


Nearly once a week, someone sends me an email that calls for my urgent action. Usually, this means reading an email and then forwarding it to everyone in my address book. Unfortunately, most of these emails revolve around "urban myths," essentially tall tales that sound true enough. Most, however, are nothing but nonsense. Take this email.

"This week, the UK removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it 'offended' the Muslim population which claims it never occurred."

Shocking isn't it. "I can't believe it," you say. Well, then, don't. It continues....

"This is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it. It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended. This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the, 6 million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were 'murdered, raped, burned, starved, beat, experimented on
and humiliated' while the German people looked the other way

Oh, this is a "memorial chain." So, now the author makes you feel like a heartless schlub, if you don't respond. Then, the author drops a guilt trip.

"This e-mail is intended to reach 400 million people! Be a link in the memorial chain and help distribute this around the world. How many years will it be before the attack on the World Trade Center, 'NEVER HAPPENED' because it offends some Muslim in the U.S. ??????"

The fact of the matter, this just isn't true. Next time, your eyebrows are raised by some sort of alarming email, check it out first. The web's foremost urban myth debunking site is SNOPES.COM.

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