Dear friends and family,
I would like to invite you to check out Snopes.com. Snopes investigates and debunks many popular urban legends such as the ones found in numerous e-mail forwards. In addition to this, Snopes investigates fraudulent and email scams that spread rapidly through inboxes all over the internet.
So whether it’s a dying girl, a Nigerian business proposal, a lost child or a super cool image (promised after your send to X amount of people), an unbelievable picture (which has undoubtedly been Photoshopped or a way to scam (“raise money for X cause”) money from Bill Gates, you can check its validity at Snopes.com. And if it’s not there yet? Submit it and let them figure it out.
Unfortunately, you cannot believe all you see, especially online. While some causes may tug at our heartstrings or we may see things that show the best (or worst) of people and want to get behind the cause, often the story is far from what really happened (like the game telephone) and forwards are well honed over time, becoming works of art. Even if a story has names, dates and addresses which may seem real, the people often do not exist or, if they do, have nothing to do with it.
So please, if you must forward, do so with prudence. For all our sakes, please.