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Internet concerns (fwd)

Poster: Elizabeth Urbanik <eurbanik@vsla.edu>

According to Terry Dawson:
> From owner-LIBADMIN@list.umaryland.edu Tue Jan 13 10:42:18 1998
> Message-Id: <>
> Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 09:31:01 -0600
> Sender: owner-libadmin@list.umaryland.edu
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> From: Terry Dawson <tdawson@apl.org>
> To: Multiple recipients of list <libadmin>
> Subject: Internet concerns
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> **********************************************************
>  Gullibility Virus Spreading over the Internet!
> **********************************************************
>  WASHINGTON, D.C.--The Institute for the Investigation of Irregular
>  Internet Phenomena announced today that many Internet users are
>  becoming infected by a new virus that causes them to believe without
>  question every groundless story, legend, and dire warning that shows
>  up in their inbox or on their browser. The Gullibility Virus, as it
>  is called, apparently makes people believe and forward copies of
>  silly hoaxes relating to cookie recipes, email viruses, taxes on
>  modems, and get-rich-quick schemes. "These are not just readers of
>  tabloids or people who buy lottery tickets based on fortune cookie
>  numbers," a spokesman said. "Most are otherwise normal people, who
>  would laugh at the same stories if told to them by a stranger on a
>  street corner." However, once these same people become infected with
>  the Gullibility Virus, they believe anything they read on the Internet.
>  "My immunity to tall tales and bizarre claims is all gone," reported
>  one weeping victim. "I believe every warning message and sick child
>  story my friends forward to me, even though most of the messages are
>  anonymous."
>  Another victim, now in remission, added, "When I first heard about
>  Good Times, I just accepted it without question. After all, there
>  were dozens of other recipients on the mail header, so I thought the
>  virus must be true." It was a long time, the victim said, before she
>  could stand up at a Hoaxees Anonymous meeting and state, "My name is
>  Jane, and I've been hoaxed." Now, however, she is spreading the word.
>  "Challenge and check whatever you read," she says.
>  Internet users are urged to examine themselves for symptoms of the
>  virus, which include the following:
>       the willingness to believe improbable stories without thinking
>       the urge to forward multiple copies of such stories to others
>       a lack of desire to take three minutes to check to see if a
>       story is true
>  T. C. is an example of someone recently infected. He told one reporter,
>  "I read on the Net that the major ingredient in almost all shampoos
>  makes your hair fall out, so I've stopped using shampoo." When told
>  about the Gullibility Virus, T. C. said he would stop reading email,
>  so that he would not become infected.
>  Anyone with symptoms like these is urged to seek help immediately.
>  Experts recommend that at the first feelings of gullibility, Internet
>  users rush to their favorite search engine and look up the item
>  tempting them to thoughtless credence. Most hoaxes, legends, and tall
>  tales have been widely discussed and exposed by the Internet community.
>  Courses in critical thinking are also widely available, and there is
>  online help from many sources, including
>       Department of Energy Computer Incident Advisory Capability at
>  http://ciac.llnl.gov/ciac/CIACHoaxes.html
>       Symantec Anti Virus Research Center at
>  http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/index.html
>       McAfee Associates Virus Hoax List at
>  http://www.mcafee.com/support/hoax.html
>       Dr. Solomons Hoax Page at
>  http://www.drsolomons.com/vircen/hoax.html
>       The Urban Legends Web Site at http://www.urbanlegends.com
>       Urban Legends Reference Pages at http://www.snopes.com
>       Datafellows Hoax Warnings at
>  http://www.Europe.Datafellows.com/news/hoax.htm
>  Those people who are still symptom free can help inoculate
>  themselves against the Gullibility Virus by reading some good
>  material on evaluating sources, such as
>       Evaluating Internet Research Sources at
>  http://www.sccu.edu/faculty/R_Harris/evalu8it.htm
>       Evaluation of Information Sources at
>  http://www.vuw.ac.nz/~agsmith/evaln/evaln.htm
>       Bibliography on Evaluating Internet Resources at
>  http://refserver.lib.vt.edu/libinst/critTHINK.HTM
>  Lastly, as a public service, Internet users can help stamp out the
>  Gullibility Virus by sending copies of this message to anyone who
>  forwards them a hoax.
> ( Where are those BLUE LINKS???....I NEED THOSE BLUE LINKS!! )
>  **********************************************************
>  This message is so important, we're sending it anonymously! Forward
>  it to all your friends right away! Don't think about it! This is not a
>  chain letter! This story is true! Don't check it out! This story is
>  so timely, there is no date on it! This story is so important, we're
>  using lots of exclamation points! For every message you forward to some
> unsuspecting person, the Home for the Hopelessly Gullible will donate ten
> cents to itself. (If you wonder how the Home will know you are forwarding
> these messages all over creation, you're obviously thinking too much.)
>  **********************************************************

Have a great day!
Elenore Spyrling

Elizabeth Urbanik, Cataloger
Pittsylvania County Library
Chatham, VA
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