I've been receiving a lot of internet hoax spam lately. Yesterday I got one. I do not know the person who sent it to me. It was a petitiion for Congress to stop them from paying social security and medicaid to illegal aliens. Like they are a bunch of loonie fools and we have to stop them from ruining the country.
It wasn't just the spam that bugged me, it's the fact that our government has been working on healthcare reform and are being attacked from all sides. There is this huge misinformation machine, spreading all sorts of rumors and lies about the government. The goal seems to be to attack American confidence in our government in order to create fear and create obstacles to change. This thing about Congress giving SSI and medicaid to illegal aliens seemed like one more thing.
So I wrote a very assertive response to the email declaring it a hoax and lecturing the sender about fact checking before forwarding spam. I further stated that if the sender doesn't have time to check, please don't foward it to me. I included a link to a Snopes article, showing it to be a false rumor.
I looked at the substantial distribution list and didn't recognize a single name. I thought about it. All those people. How many of them don't know? How many will sign the petiton and forward the spam?
I thought about it again. Then I hit, "Reply to all."
Yes, I know. The cardinal sin of email etiquette. A couple of people have already responded to my email, letting me know that I only needed to respond politely to the sender. I am suitably chastized, and my cheeks are appropriately reddened. I do not normally behave like the scourge of the Internet.
Still. If I had it to do over again, I think I would. Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.