Sorry, Mars is Not Close to Earth This Year (and how to not forward hoaxes)

Error message

The spam filter installed on this site is currently unavailable. Per site policy, we are unable to accept new submissions until that problem is resolved. Please try resubmitting the form in a couple of minutes.

I just received the third email this year from a friend about how Mars will be closer to Earth than it will be in the next 60,000 years. It probably ranks as the most forwarded hoax that I have ever received. I knew something was up the first time I received this hoax in my inbox because I distinctly remember waiting in line at English Bay in August 2003 to see Mars through a volunteer's telescope. It turns out that Mars is actually behind the Sun this year and not visible at all. For all those people who like to forward emails, here are some tips:

  • Consider all forwarded email to be a hoax until proven otherwise
  • If you send an email that turns out to be a hoax, you will look like a jackass
  • The more people you send an email to that turns out to be a hoax (and the more people those people send it to), the more you will look like a jackass
  • Don't forward an email unless you have investigated it yourself. In the case of forwarded emails, shooting the messenger is perfectly acceptable.
  • Before forwarding any emails, search for it on Google. It might be a hoax. Try different keywords if the first keywords you tried didn't turn up any interesting results
  • If Google didn't turn up anything useful try snopes.com
  • When you receive forwarded emails from other people, research them, and if you discover that the content of the email is a hoax send your proof to all the recipients. You may look like a jackass, but the person who forwarded you the hoax originally will hopefully look like a bigger jackass and will refrain from forwarding hoaxes in the future.
Tags: 

Add new comment