Author Topic: Argh.... Chain Letters via E-mail  (Read 5620 times)

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MamaMootz

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Argh.... Chain Letters via E-mail
« on: September 05, 2012, 03:35:35 PM »
I have a relative that holds distinctly different political and social views than I. Unfortunately for me, that means that I receive a series of e-mails that are offensive (to me) in that they are a) chain letters and b) slanted toward the Purple party's political views. I am of neither party but I lean more toward the Blue Party.

I received an e-mail today that mentioned incorrect and slanderous information about a religious group, calling them "evil" and saying that if we loved our country, we would boycott a certain business over it.

I usually just send the e-mails to junk but I couldn't let this one go, because it's stuff I've tried to ignore in the past and have told his relative to stop sending me these things, but they persist. Plus they insist that I should agree with their political and moral POV but really don't listen to mine at all. It reached saturation point with that e-mail and I blew.

I replied to them, refuting it and backing my points up with a link to Snopes proving the information they had in their original e-mail was wrong. I was not rude. But I was firm on every point.

I realize that this probably won't change their behavior or beliefs, but I am tired of being silent and just tolerating the continual receipt of these types of messages. I cannot set this person to Spam filter as I need to hear from them on other things. I know I can't make them stop! I sure wish I could.

Have any of you had experiences like this in the past where someone just would not stop sending you these things, and you replied to them with a rebuttal? Did they respond? Did they stop sending you the chain letters?

« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 03:42:52 PM by MamaMootz »
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Jones

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Re: Argh.... Chain Letters via E-mail
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2012, 04:46:43 PM »
Yes...in general, they get angry; they keep sending the chains, which get wilder and less researched. At parties and such, they will make PA comments about the latest travesty inflicted by [whomever], and wonder aloud how anyone could support such an act. The bold ones will call you over to explain why you support [insert horrific crime here] which you actually do NOT support and hope no one else does either.

Some few (my mom for example) were willing to hear about Snopes and start using it themselves after finding out something horrific wasn't true. But the last time I saw someone called out on an untrue thing full of obsenities that he posted on FB, his reaction was immediate piling on of the Snopes-quoter, he had several poster-friends do the same, and the Snopes-quoter probably felt bitter over the whole incident. I felt bitter about it and I had nothing to do with it! All that happened was that the FB posters could make their own judgement on who was a Troll, and who wasn't.

So it kind of depends on the relative, how well you know him/her, how far you are willing to go. It does feel good to know you tried to prevent the spread of lies and misinformation, but sadly, it may not actually do anything.

MrTango

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Re: Argh.... Chain Letters via E-mail
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 12:11:50 AM »
I've never had any success with getting someone to stop sending out politispam.

I just report their email as spam and let their emails go directly to my spam folder.  I do this even if the sender is family.

FlyingBaconMouse

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Re: Argh.... Chain Letters via E-mail
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 07:42:42 AM »
I have some relatives who sent me a couple of e-mail forwards. Both were Snopes-able, so I sent the links back along with my usual note in such circumstances (something like "So relieved to find this isn't actually true!," because a lot of e-mail forwarders seem to get their kicks out of feeling like the world is against them, but won't usually come out and say, "But I wanted to feel oppressed!"  :P)

They haven't done it since. I suspect I was ruining the fun.
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HotMango

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Re: Argh.... Chain Letters via E-mail
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2012, 08:39:25 AM »
Most e-mail spam filters actually allow you to customize pretty well. My husband had a similar issue with a good long-term friend of his who continually hit the "forward" button on every piece of "forward this to everyone you know!!!" e-mail he'd ever receive no matter how many times you begged him to stop. And of course, DH and Friend were on opposite ends of the political and religious spectrum. So DH set up certain Friend Rules on the settings of his e-mail filter that if he received an e-mail from Friend that included the words Purple political party or Blue political party, any of the parties' common leaders, this religion or that religion or the name of any religion's iconic individuals, etc., Friend's e-mail goes straight to the spam folder. It's worked incredibly well as he now just receives e-mails from Friend like "hey who's up for guys' night out this Friday?" or "i'm shooting some hoops tonight. Want to play?" rather than all that other flotsam and jetsam.

I try not to Snopes reply although I'll admit to engaging once or twice when it was something I was particularly passionate about. But most of the time, I just grit my teeth and hit delete or keep scrolling if it's something on Facebook. I've found out that most of the time, these posters don't want a discussion and any sort of engagement on the opposite side of the coin doesn't go well. They just want some sort of cheer from their side of the room.

Luci

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Re: Argh.... Chain Letters via E-mail
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2012, 11:30:03 AM »
The chain letters and silly warnings used to bug me, but if it doesn't do any harm I just let it go. The /Delete/ button is my friend.

If the information can cause harm, I do write the sender with the Snopes reference. (There is one that surfaces occasionally about not using 911 on a cell but an alternative. 911 always works, but the alternative only works in some areas. That could be a big waste of time, and sometimes seconds do count!)

I have some relatives who sent me a couple of e-mail forwards. Both were Snopes-able, so I sent the links back along with my usual note in such circumstances (something like "So relieved to find this isn't actually true!," because a lot of e-mail forwarders seem to get their kicks out of feeling like the world is against them, but won't usually come out and say, "But I wanted to feel oppressed!"  :P)

They haven't done it since. I suspect I was ruining the fun.

I think I have 'trained' some people not to send me garbage by using the same method: Good news! This is not a problem! [insert Snopes link]


Steve

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Re: Argh.... Chain Letters via E-mail
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2012, 12:50:21 PM »
I do not get them anymore, but I used a rather unpleasant and strickt regime. THe first time I wrote to them personally, a friendly note to please not forward me any of this stuf.
Second time I started with my first stock letter, stating that I did not want to receive this stuff anyomore. Then I had a second stock letter explaining they would get blocked if they did it again....

I did not need to block that many people really.



JaneJensen

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Re: Argh.... Chain Letters via E-mail
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2012, 02:49:02 PM »
Telling them to stop doesn't ever turn out well. They get offended, no matter how nicely you phrase it. One lady I knew insisted Snopes was wrong and was mad at ME for sending her snopes links. :-\

The other person I knew , who when told the things were false would reply " well maybe they are, but it's good to be aware, just in case"

I don't communicate with either of these gals anymore because the forwards would drive me bonkers.

Jones

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Re: Argh.... Chain Letters via E-mail
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2012, 02:51:40 PM »
Today on FB someone posted something, someone else posted the Snopes link, and...a third party posted a link that proved Snopes isn't always right about everything.


I'mnotinsane

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Re: Argh.... Chain Letters via E-mail
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2012, 03:13:24 PM »
There a two types of people who send these things.  The Clueless who see something that supports their political views but doesn't bother considering the source.  The second group knows how extreme and improbable the claims are (the propaganda, not their actual political beliefs) but they love to stir the pot and spout off about their candidate/party.  They cannot have a rational discussion, they just raise the volume when someone disagrees with them.

Replying respectfully with the facts can be effective with the former group. 

25wishes

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Re: Argh.... Chain Letters via E-mail
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2012, 05:36:00 PM »
I don't get these people. I can't think of a single thing I would forward to EVERYONE in my contacts, they are such a diverse group. I get forwards from a few people who seem to think I am *******, anti-immigration, and several other adjectives that I am NOT.  I have been known to Snopes on occasion.

Luci

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Re: Argh.... Chain Letters via E-mail
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2012, 07:26:32 PM »
I don't get these people. I can't think of a single thing I would forward to EVERYONE in my contacts, they are such a diverse group. I get forwards from a few people who seem to think I am *******, anti-immigration, and several other adjectives that I am NOT.  I have been known to Snopes on occasion.

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Slartibartfast

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Re: Argh.... Chain Letters via E-mail
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2012, 11:59:18 PM »
You usually can't reason with people who forward everything, because there seems to be a high correlation between forwarding everything and not really understanding how this internet thing works  ::)  However, I do think (in the case of political/religious/ideological forwards) it can be valuable sometimes to let the offender know that you are not on their "side."  I'd probably forward a lot more political stuff on Twitter if I didn't know I had friends/followers who follow the opposite party - but who I still love and respect despite disagreeing with their overall political stance.  It's always easier to go overboard if you think everyone else around you has your back  :-\

spookycatlady

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Re: Argh.... Chain Letters via E-mail
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2012, 09:51:40 AM »
I've had this issue with a cousin and a casual friend about 10 years ago.  I used a phased approach:

Phase 1:
"Dear Cousin/Friend,  Thanks for taking time out of your day to think about me and forward me this offensive, inane, thoughtless thing.  The truth is, my computer has been crippled by viruses and I no longer open any email that has RE: or FW: in the title, unless I know with certainty that it is in relation to a conversation I've already participated in.

I care about you and am happy to keep getting updates about your life and your family, but I won't open up any of the other stuff."

Phase 2:
"Please take me off your mailing list.  I'd rather not have to block your address."

Phase 3
Blocked.


I never received another email from Cousin and I had to block the Casual Friend.  Years later, I'm friends with both on Facebook, though Cousin is hidden from my feed.  Casual Friend is actually a very polite and pleasant Facebook user... 

The Dude (my DH), got the Phase 1 warning early in our courtship and was pretty good until we moved in together.  After two months, he got an earful at dinner time when he tried to convince me that my refusal to read offensive (to me) materials that he wanted to send me, made me closed minded.

Now, I would just delete without opening and never mention it again.  I believe it's my responsibility to manage my inbox and Facebook feed and as much as people have the right to speak their mind, I have the right to put my fingers in my ears and sing "LALALALA."


White Lotus

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Re: Argh.... Chain Letters via E-mail
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2012, 04:52:20 AM »
I USED TO get a lot of cutesy-poo friendship or luck or photo-montage messages that invoke deities (as Buddhists, we do not do deities) and also threaten harm if one does not forward to X number of people in some time period.  If it is a NICE wish for luck or acknowledging one's friends, or really great photos, I edit to delete deities and threats and forward to whomever I like.  I always send back and, oddly, <g>  no longer get a lot of this anymore.  Political stuff, religious stuff, I send straight to E-mail hell, and ask not to be included.  That seems to work for me.