Don’t Hit the ‘Forward’ Button on That E-mail!

One of my all time pet peeves is the propagating of misinformation, hatred and intolerance by the forwarding of untrue chain e-mails. With the Presidential election process in full-swing, it seems like I have been receiving more of these types of e-mails lately, and it is upsetting.

As an educator, I try to teach my students and staff to validate sources of information before referring to them in presentations, papers, etc. Part of my job, as I see it, is to fight against misinformation, so I may take this topic a little more seriously than others might. But I hope, that we are all open to fighting against intolerance, misinformation and slander by just taking a minute or two to QUESTION and THINK about what we are reading. If most people just took a second to question the chain e-mails going around before hitting ‘forward,’ they would probably realize they are untrue.

If, however, you receive an e-mail and your just don’t know whether it is true or not, then take another minute or two to research what you have received. if you are reading the e-mail, then I am assuming you have Internet access and it is a quick jump over to FactCheck.org (for politics) or Snopes in order to verify the information (or just do a Google search and see what you come up with).  It is time well spent – time spent learning instead of just acting like one of the “sheeple” or “sheople” who follow the masses without ever questioning or thinking for themselves.

If for some reason you are dead set about sharing information via e-mail that is for or against a Presidential candidate (or VP), then use a reputable source of information.  Share information that matters – what does the candidate stand for, what is he/she promising, what is his/her political experience or how does he/she represent himself/herself.  Read through the transcripts of their speeches (Obama/McCain) and/or debates or watch videos of interviews with them. Make an INFORMED decision, not one based on misinformation meant to muddy the real issues or slander the candidate.

And, whatever you do… stop forwarding the chain e-mails!!

Some additional sites you might want to check out when researching your candidate…

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3 Comments on “Don’t Hit the ‘Forward’ Button on That E-mail!”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Thanks for joining the crusade! It is nice to know I’m not alone in my frustration over mass e-mails with the intent to misinform.

  2. Dave Says:

    It seems like some people decide with their hearts, and some people decide with their minds, and we get stale-mated when we use one type of argument on the other kind of person.

    I think chain letters are usually pleas to someone’s heart, and telling them to factcheck is a logical solution…we’re just not speaking the same language. : (

  3. FroZ Says:

    Keep up the fight. I am constantly irritated by both sides that try to oversimplify any given topic to their advantage or their opponents disadvantage. My rule-of-thumb is that there is a broader balance than any emotionally charged accusation makes. Our first step should be to look at the other side and see what the actual truth is before moving forward with new information. Said simply, we need more NPR fans out there…


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