I am reserving the mallet on the left here for the heads of all of the people in this world who think it is FUNNY to create a hoax about missing children and start spreading the hoax by email to the entire world. Dude (or dude-ette if you are female), it ain’t funny. You may think you are funny, but you’re not.
There has been an email running around which I have seen a couple of times in the last week. It involves a 13 year old girl by the name of Ashley Flores. According to Snopes, ( http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/missing/ashleyflores.asp ) this hoax or prank has been around since May of 2006. And here it goes around and around again.
I am so exceedingly irritated that I wish I could find the prankster, and apply a rubber mallet to the top of their head in hopes to knock some sense into them.
Take this from the snopes site: In one day alone (19 May 2006), our site registered over 25,000 searches from readers looking for information about Ashley Flores.
Can you imagine? This is just ONE DAY. This does not include the involvement of the FBI, Pennsylvania and New Jersey State Police Departments, or anybody else who has wasted time, money, man-hours, etc. to deal with this.
Do I blame those who have perpetuated the hoax by forwarding on the email to millions and millions of others? No. How could I? I almost forwarded it myself. To all of you good Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and other religious or not-religious people out there who love your children and care about the children of others, who want to be law abiding citizens, and wish to make a positive contributions to society . . . I am on YOUR SIDE! Hurrah for you! Thank you for making this world a bearable place to live in.
And for all of us, who now feel bad because we CARED, I am so sorry. The hoaxter is out there, laughing once again that this email chain they started almost 3 years ago has once again taken the attention of millions of people. So much wasted time. Time which should have been spent doing other more productive things.
To my readers: Who can we trust? Do you ever get tired of the lies? We seem to get it from all sides. I admit, some things we hear are simply mistakes or errors by well-intentioned folks. But, other things are intentional lies by pea-brains like the person who started this email chain.
I would like to share just a few pointers about discerning truth from error when it comes to the internet and email:
1. If it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t true. Nobody in Nigeria has a bunch of money they need to share with you. It is a scam.
2. If it arrives by email, unless you know the person yourself, don’t trust it. Did it originate with this person you trust? Does it concern them? Or are they simply forwarding something they got from other people?
3. Is it an email with a quote from a famous person? Don’t trust it. People don’t generally spread their wisdom by email. Look for it to be verified on an official website. If you can’t find it posted somewhere else, chances are the quote is a fake.
4. Check it out! There are several places on the internet where you can check the facts. Snopes is a good one.
If you are a good-hearted person, who really cares, and you have fallen victim to these kinds of things, don’t feel bad. I have been misled before, just like you.
And for the hoaxters, this is how I feel about you: You are no different than the punk who tags a building with the ugliness of graffiti. Hoaxes are destructive. They destroy trust. They waste precious time, resources, and money.
If you feel like you are about to have a case of incredible stupid: please take the mallet above and use it.
If I have offended any of you non-hoaxters, my sincere apologies. Let me know if I have, and I will employ the use of the rubber mallet myself. Heaven knows I could probably gain some benefit from it. Where is that mallet???