[internetworkers] Hoaxes, Relatives, and Email Etiquette

Alan MacHett machett at ibiblio.org
Wed Sep 29 23:28:51 EDT 2004

I'm the last person from whom to take advice on tact.  My answer most
likely isn't the polite thing to do.  Still, it seemed to work.

My mother is ... /was/ in the habit of forwarding everything to me, and
each included all of the previous forwarding individuals' comments and
email addresses.  The last one, several weeks ago, was a complete myth
(the Heinz ketchup thing) and I'd had enough.

I took the time to compile a list of all the contained email addresses, 71
of them to be exact, my mother's included.  Then I created a discussion
list and signed them all to it.  Next I analyzed the BS email and made my
responses to each point, finally emailing it all to the new list.  I
started by explaining how rude it is to not edit one's forwarded messages
and how it's a potential violation of everyone else's privacy by leaving
their addresses intact, obviously.

I haven't heard a peep since.  Not exactly polite, but I don't think it
was threatening or mean, either.


In reference to Michael Czeiszperger's message:
> What's the polite thing to do with email from internet unsavy relatives
> who are regularly forwarding hoaxes, both urban and political.  The
> typical email will have been forwarded many times, and I'm usually
> included on a very long list of friends and relatives.  Should I:
> 1. Reply only to the author with links to the appropriate section of
> snopes.com?
> 2. Reply to everyone on the list?
> I've been trying #1 and its not working, since the offending emailers
> never see fit to let everyone know that the story is a hoax. :-(

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