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(FW: Fw: FWD: FW: Fw:)   New Gmail extension will allow for instant debunking of Internet chain mails, and will never, ever be used by your crazy right-wing uncle   (niemanlab.org) divider line 45
    More: Spiffy, internet, Gmail, MIT Media Lab, National Day of Prayer, First Lady Michelle Obama, media lab  
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3336 clicks; posted to Geek » on 15 Nov 2012 at 5:26 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



45 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2012-11-15 04:51:36 AM  
This is the greatest thing in the history of all man-kind.

Now, when some idiot on facebook decides to copy-paste a chain email about how Obama is just seconds away from taking our constitutional rights away to play soldier and own Colt Ruger Kalishnakov FN Arms M4A2-AK-97AlphaMod0Mark3s with Laser Scopes and attached NVG Grenade Launchers, well...

No. You'll still point and laugh at the idiot for wasting his money.
 
2012-11-15 05:43:02 AM  
There was a time I used to respond to these emails by reprimanding the sender and clarifying for everyone on the CC list that these emails were either hoaxes, spam, or chain letters that ought to be deleted as soon as they were delivered to your inbox and not forwarded to everyone in your address book.

That time is passed. Now those senders get a trip straight to the spam folder.

Once you stop worrying about the little things life gets so much easier, and it's all little things.
 
2012-11-15 06:41:30 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Once you stop worrying about the little things life gets so much easier, and it's all little things.


The problem is that we live in America, and because of this, pundits on the right like to glorify the unintellectual, slack-jawed yokels who actually believe the email with 50 FW: headers infront of the subject that came from Grandma Powatee in Bucksnort, Tennessee as "Educated Voters" and promote the idea that they should vote based on what they read in a chain email, rather than doing research on the actual purported event.

In addition (Thanks FARK.com book for giving me this), the Media likes to give "Equal time to nutjobs", the Fair and Balanced principle that Fox News likes to doublespeak. So because of this, these idiots get soapboxes to spew their stupidity from. Think Obama's a secret commie Muslim and others need to do their research? Yeah. Some people might laugh at you. But many more of the Baby Boomer generation are going to see it and say "SEE! I knew it! If the media's reporting it, there must be some truth to it"

So, yeah. It's a problem. 

/the left does it too.
 
2012-11-15 06:43:19 AM  
It scans my email? So it's all part of a Commie-Nazi Homo Illuminati plot!√-1!
 
2012-11-15 06:45:44 AM  
Now if they can only introduce this feature for AOL and Yahoo Mail...
 
2012-11-15 06:51:38 AM  
It wont stop anyone. I used to send these people links to snopes and other sites where these stupid emails were debunked and the morons would still forward them on every time they got one.

I got replies from more than one who said that even if they're not true that it did no harm to forward them on.
 
2012-11-15 07:14:52 AM  
The people who need this are the people least likely to install it - after all, it's obviously a (right/left) wing tool to keep people from learning the Truth. Silly sheeple, They Who Control The Media are simply adding another tool to keep you acting like little happy drones.

/wakeupsheeplexkcd.jpg
 
2012-11-15 07:16:20 AM  
Gonna go out on a limb and assume that most of them don't use chrome to email their stupidity.
 
2012-11-15 07:17:27 AM  
FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: THIS REALLY WORKS! TRY IT!
 
2012-11-15 07:21:18 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Now those senders get a trip straight to the spam folder.


I actually had some good luck with my father-in-law and his FW: circle. I'd get the stupid email, do a quick check (usually snopes), then "reply all."

The key is to be brief, and upbeat. "Fortunately, it's not true (link)" or "thank goodness it's just a rumor (link)".

Did it enough that either he too me off his FW list, or he stopped.
 
2012-11-15 07:34:33 AM  
This morning when I came in to work, I found out that the cleaning lady had ripped off all of the pull tabs from my soda cans. I think I heard first about this in the 80's, and it's still going on...
 
2012-11-15 07:36:46 AM  

BronyMedic:
The problem is that we live in America, and because of this, pundits on the right like to glorify the unintellectual, slack-jawed yokels who actually believe the email with 50 FW: headers infront of the subject that came from Grandma Powatee in Bucksnort, Tennessee as "Educated Voters" and promote the idea that they should vote based on what they read in a chain email, rather than doing research on the actual purported event.


So what you're saying is that they should study it out?
 
2012-11-15 07:45:22 AM  

finnished: So what you're saying is that they should study it out?


I see your point. They were stupid enough to believe that Obama invited 10,000 Muslims to pray at the DNC to begin with.
 
2012-11-15 07:58:26 AM  
There will be a 'conservative' version of this that highlights the lies in green and marks them important. Then it marks all debunking replies in red (or maybe pink for commies) as lies.
 
2012-11-15 08:10:04 AM  
[XKCD-snopes.jpg]
 
2012-11-15 08:32:09 AM  
I love the hoax emails that have the balls to start off with "I've checked Snopes and this is real!" And of course a quick check of Snopes shows it to be false.

Then when you tell people that they say, "But it said Snopes says it's real!"

/facepalm
 
2012-11-15 09:01:44 AM  
What's worse is when the mail contains a link to the exact Snopes page debunking the hoax, with the caption "Confirmed by Snopes."

I do find it interesting how these mails mutate over time (I'm an email administrator so I see a lot of these passing through). They even merge with other mails to produce new hoaxes. It's like a little rumor ecosystem.
 
2012-11-15 09:26:17 AM  
The Googles is tryin' tah convince meh that Billllll-eeeee Clit-ton didn't really keel all thems folks! Damn lieberal search engines!

Now if ya'll don't mind I'ma go off tah get mah new doctalaura ate from quickdegreesnow.cn!
 
2012-11-15 09:33:03 AM  
So that's why Gmail's interface is so unintuitive.. stop the chain mails from cloggin' their pipes!
 
2012-11-15 09:42:01 AM  

Bedurndurn: It scans my email? So it's all part of a Commie-Nazi Homo Illuminati plot!√-1!


That's an excellent point. I'm forwarding your post to everyone in my address book, this is something that people need to know.
 
2012-11-15 09:47:01 AM  

BronyMedic: /the left does it too.


Sure, but not at anywhere near the level of the right. There were quite a few 'Bush II will cancel the election' idiots out there in '04, but nothing compared to the 'this is our last election' folks today.

bmongar: There will be a 'conservative' version of this that highlights the lies in green and marks them important. Then it marks all debunking replies in red (or maybe pink for commies) as lies.


Stick with red - that way they know these are Jesus' words
 
2012-11-15 09:53:28 AM  
BronyMedic:
/the left does it too.

I checked Snopes's pages on urban legends related to President George W. Bush and to President Barack H. Obama. The latter President was the subject of more than twice as many urban legends, and the ration of false to true urban legends was substantially higher as well.

Right-leaning individuals seem much more susceptible to treating false or misleading claims without any incredulity. I suspect that this is related to the strong correlation between conservatism and religious faith.
 
2012-11-15 10:00:20 AM  
ReapTheChaos

"It wont stop anyone. I used to send these people links to snopes and other sites where these stupid emails were debunked and the morons would still forward them on every time they got one.

I got replies from more than one who said that even if they're not true that it did no harm to forward them on."


Spreading misinformation = harm. It propagates stupidity and hate. Two things there's an overabundance of. And you're right... it won't stop anyone.
 
2012-11-15 10:12:17 AM  
the extension is not intended to "protect" the people who install it from the stupidity directly, but rather to give them some quick fuel for replying and "pushing back" on the people who sent it.

Sometimes, you know you just want to hammer the person, but you don't feel like wasting the time to actually pull sources. This ap is supposed to take over that effort for you. We'll see how it works over time.

I'm unclear on the source material for the ap, though. I wonder if it's fact-check.org, or snopes, or all of the above and more? I'd hope so, but I didn't see any details on that on the website.
 
2012-11-15 10:13:53 AM  
Apparently I'm not the only one that has a crazy tin foil hat wearing uncle. He forwards this crap to my folks and then I get sent this shiat from them. I've told them that most of the crap being sent by him is utter crap and easily debunked with a quick google search, but alas, my folks are old.
 
2012-11-15 10:50:24 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: There was a time I used to respond to these emails by reprimanding the sender and clarifying for everyone on the CC list that these emails were either hoaxes, spam, or chain letters that ought to be deleted as soon as they were delivered to your inbox and not forwarded to everyone in your address book.


I actually had an old friend who used to blast these things out with regular and gay abandon. I pointed out to her that A) I'm not Christian so all this 'god light' bollocks is wasted on me B) I run my own mail server, receiving this shiat does actually cost me money. C) As someone who worked in IT for years she should be well aware that these things are themselves malicious and designed to expend system resources on pointless tasks.

Now I was actually polite about it I didn't just wade it. The response I got was... interestingly worded. There is now apparently a prayer circle in the Midlands dedicated to asking God to smite me.

OTOH with her batshiat insanity out the way it has been literally years since I received one of these things and their God seems perfectly content to let the Atheist heathen live. Which is nice.
 
2012-11-15 11:06:58 AM  

Timmaay: the extension is not intended to "protect" the people who install it from the stupidity directly, but rather to give them some quick fuel for replying and "pushing back" on the people who sent it.

Sometimes, you know you just want to hammer the person, but you don't feel like wasting the time to actually pull sources. This ap is supposed to take over that effort for you. We'll see how it works over time.

I'm unclear on the source material for the ap, though. I wonder if it's fact-check.org, or snopes, or all of the above and more? I'd hope so, but I didn't see any details on that on the website.


The site claims Politifact and Factcheck as "partners," doesn't mention Snopes. It also claims to protect against phishing but doesn't explain how. Half-baked, give it a while.
 
2012-11-15 11:15:09 AM  

PsyLord: Apparently I'm not the only one that has a crazy tin foil hat wearing uncle. He forwards this crap to my folks and then I get sent this shiat from them. I've told them that most of the crap being sent by him is utter crap and easily debunked with a quick google search, but alas, my folks are old.


Take all of the addresses listed in the CC & TO fields. Respond with this as the text:

"All quite fascinating however here's something I found online which is even better!"

And attach 50Mb worth of the most twisted pornography /B/ and more importantly /D/ can come up with.

Problem. Solved.
 
2012-11-15 11:29:17 AM  

Vaneshi:
And attach 50Mb worth of the most twisted pornography /B/ and more importantly /D/ can come up with.

Problem. Solved.


First off, those should be lowercase.

Secondly, speaking from experience, /b/'s most twisted is a thousand times worse than /d/'s most twisted.

Thirdly, what you really want is fchan or some other furry site.
 
2012-11-15 11:31:09 AM  

ThinkingGuy: What's worse is when the mail contains a link to the exact Snopes page debunking the hoax, with the caption "Confirmed by Snopes."


THIS. Ohmygod, this so much. A friend of mine sends me stuff like this, and when I finally told him (at the end of one of my debunkings) to quit sending me stuff that wasn't true he responded that we could "agree to disagree" or somesuch. I was like WTF, dude. I don't mind you having a different political opinion on things than me but at least don't base it on LIES. 

OTOH he's not just blind to the forward email lies. He literally can't even surf porn because he'll uncontrollably click on the most flashy thing on the page, convinced it's a real link, and his computer will be reduced to something that needs a factory reset within 24 hours. I'm surprised he hasn't sent money off to Nigeria yet.
 
2012-11-15 12:32:06 PM  
If it autocorrected hoax emails, I would install this on my in-laws' computers. In its current form, this plugin won't help me. When I send a link to Snopes, she responds with a link exposing Snopes' bias. I can't win.
 
2012-11-15 12:46:39 PM  

PsyMar: random farkery.


Firstly, I'll write them as /B/ and /D/ if I want. Don't like it? Bury it in a deep dark place and keep your yap shut.
Secondly, we're dealing with inlaws not actual /B/-tards fapping to gore and demanding additional goat scat midgets.
Thirdly we're dealing with inlaws, your average fur suit wearing person is taken the same as the guy in the Mickey Mouse costume at Disney World... fairly innocent.

/B/ and /D/'s finest will be more than sufficient for the job at hand. Nuclear options can be kept in reserve for persistent offenders.
 
2012-11-15 12:53:40 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: There was a time I used to respond to these emails by reprimanding the sender and clarifying for everyone on the CC list that these emails were either hoaxes, spam, or chain letters that ought to be deleted as soon as they were delivered to your inbox and not forwarded to everyone in your address book.

That time is passed. Now those senders get a trip straight to the spam folder.

Once you stop worrying about the little things life gets so much easier, and it's all little things.


I correct and reprimand every time, without exception, and I follow up on the "well, that's just like your opinion man" whargarble with "These are facts. You are not entitled to your own facts." I am a complete asshole about it, even with people I love. The last one I got had me castigating my own mother for forwarding along one that told people not to give to the Red Cross, which I found grossly irresponsible as well as annoying.

At first, I was busy. But what I've discovered is that I don't get them sent to me any more.
 
2012-11-15 01:24:14 PM  

stratagos: The people who need this are the people least likely to install it - after all, it's obviously a (right/left) wing tool to keep people from learning the Truth. Silly sheeple, They Who Control The Media are simply adding another tool to keep you acting like little happy drones.


Fortunately, the people who need this the most could probably get it in the form of a hacker or a virus.
 
2012-11-15 01:30:38 PM  
i'd rather have a "send later" plugin

//or for all the old gmail labs to work again
 
2012-11-15 01:59:38 PM  
If you give your private email address to the wrong people you're doing it wrong.
Maintaining multiple email accounts that have specific purposes handles this sort of problem nicely.
 
2012-11-15 03:46:03 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: There was a time I used to respond to these emails by reprimanding the sender and clarifying for everyone on the CC list that these emails were either hoaxes, spam, or chain letters that ought to be deleted as soon as they were delivered to your inbox and not forwarded to everyone in your address book.

That time is passed. Now those senders get a trip straight to the spam folder.

Once you stop worrying about the little things life gets so much easier, and it's all little things.


Actually, I have found a reply-all rebuttal to be effective. It gets people to quit sending me the crap.
 
2012-11-15 03:46:55 PM  
Settings
Filters
Create a new filter
Subject is FW: FW:
Send to trash
Wipe hands on pants
 
2012-11-15 03:49:36 PM  

red5ish: If you give your private email address to the wrong people you're doing it wrong.
Maintaining multiple email accounts that have specific purposes handles this sort of problem nicely.


I'm glad you can tell ahead of time which contacts will turn out to be a brain-dead email hoax forwarders, and are able to keep your personal email address out of the hands of your personal relatives. Sounds like a winning method for you to use.
 
2012-11-15 03:51:13 PM  
When you open a forwarded email, an "Ask LazyTruth" button invites you to investigate. The software checks the email against data pulled from PolitiFact and FactCheck.org, and, if needed, offers a correction and a link to find out more.

Such a good idea, but with the just the wrong execution. I don't need to push the button. I know it's crap. Anyone should be able to tell it's crap. What it needs to do is auto-respond to whoever hit forward with the correction. In fact, it should reply to every address where it propagated. Maybe after the people high in the tree receive a few hundred e-mails from the leaf nodes, they'll stop hitting the farking forward button in the first place.

It's like a reverse ponzi scheme. The more your referrals buy in and suck in others, the more e-mails you get telling you you're a moron.
 
2012-11-15 05:01:46 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: There was a time I used to respond to these emails by reprimanding the sender and clarifying for everyone on the CC list that these emails were either hoaxes, spam, or chain letters that ought to be deleted as soon as they were delivered to your inbox and not forwarded to everyone in your address book.

That time is passed. Now those senders get a trip straight to the spam folder.

Once you stop worrying about the little things life gets so much easier, and it's all little things.


An interesting thing happened in this election. A very conservative family member started forwarding these emails. Not to say 'look what terrible thing Obama's doing now' but to ask 'is this true? Can you find the real story for me?'
There are cracks in the Republican facade.
 
2012-11-15 06:03:54 PM  

Arkanaut: Now if they can only introduce this feature for AOL and Yahoo Mail...


Or an Ask toolbar extension for IE7.
 
2012-11-15 08:46:45 PM  
FTFH: 'New Gmail extension will allow for instant debunking of Internet chain mails, and will never, ever be used by your crazy rightLeft-wing uncle'

FTFY, subby.
 
2012-11-15 10:16:59 PM  
Right wing logic: "no u!" is a winning argument.
 
2012-11-16 10:01:35 AM  
Im just here to say I do have a right wing uncle and all he does is send me FW FW FW FW emails, this is hilarious.
 
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