Got sent an email last night entitled "Coil of Rage" that purports to be racist statements Obama made in a couple of different books. The theme of the email is, basically, that Obama is a racist, against white people, and his allegiances lie with Muslims. Reminds me of an email I got a few years ago that was ALSO a ridiculous email about Obama and the Christian Nation. I assume that the people that send out stuff like this do it to be social, or because it fits some pre-conceived notion they already have, and not because they care if what they're sending is truthful. Almost always there's something on the email, chain letter style, that says to send it out to everyone they know, and that is usually a person's entire email address book.
In the last two messages of these type, there have been what I will call preemptive snopes references. I think everyone knows, or at least a lot of people do, that snopes at http://www.snopes.com is where you look to see if what you are being sent in mass emailings is true or not. It takes me about 30 seconds or less to go to snopes and search for some phrase from the email to find a reference to any given chain letter email. And that was true for this one.
Here's what these email chain letters do, at least the last two I have received. They put a statement towards the top that tries to tell people what snopes said without giving the link. On the Coil of Rage email:
Snopes says “Mostly True” but gives a LONG defense of the statements.
and then the email launched into a whole bunch of statements Obama purported to be making, which Snopes debunks because, except for the few he didn't even make, they were taken out of context.
I assume that when the man who sent me this got the email, he read the comment about Snopes but didn't look it up to see what it said. Otherwise, there's no way he would have participated (I hope) in sending out that garbage email because it was clearly a smear. It's as if the Appeal to Authority via a Snopes reference takes out the need to actually LOOK UP THE SNOPES REFERENCE AND READ IT. Was it the "Long defense" that decided the sender not to look it up? Except that the email itself is LONG. If he had looked at Snopes, would he have sent this anyway because it fit his mental picture of Obama being a racist?
I was trying to figure out how not to offend the man by telling him to go READ SNOPES, so I merely sent him back the link to the snopes Coil of Rage article and told him that the original sender of the email must have left that out.
I got another chain email about something else entirely a week or so ago and the email said, at the end "Please Pass This Along. You can go to snopes to verify". Well, I did. And snopes said that the email was not true (it was about putting your pin number in backwards at an ATM machine). That's what bugs me. It's as if BECAUSE the emails reference snopes, it's not necessary to verify that what the email says is true or not. As if one should just believe some anonymous chain letter email being sent and pass it along to a bazillion people
And I believe that it is not accident that the snopes references are put in the emails, to quiet any doubts the one who wants to be pass this along might have. Why bother to see if it's true because the dang email from some unknown, anonymous sender says that snopes says it's true or that it will take a LONG time to read.
Look. It takes 30 seconds or less to go to snopes to see if the email you are being sent is true. If you go look and it's baloney, DELETE the email and don't send it.