tl;dr – You’re an idiot!

If you are one of those people who has blindly in the past copied and pasted a message found on the wall of a friend to your own wall giving out dire warnings about hackers invading your account, malicious viruses, dying children, foundations that donate money each time the message is reposted and the like, then I’m sorry to say, but this post here is aimed at you, and it’s aimed hard. It will diss you, it will be derogatory and if you’re easily offended, bite my shiny metal ass.. then as Christian Bale likes to put it: “think for a fucking second”. This one’s for you.. you gullible person!

There’s one very wrong thing with you. And that thing is that you do take anything that you read online for granted. You never even invest a split second to activate your critical thinking and ponder “Hey.. this pile of bollocks I’m reading and urges me to duplicate it on my wall is so outrageously reeking of falsehood that I’d rightfully look like a complete tool if I repost it on my wall”. Noooo.. if your facebook friends posted it, then it must be true right?

But since you’re taking the time to read this post, before you explode from your unjustified rage, allow me to educate you a bit. You are reposting crap like that thinking “hey.. it doesn’t hurt.. and in the remote possibility that the bollocks in the post are true, I’ll feel so justified in the end and rub it in your face you nay-sayers”. In hindsight though, when was the last time you were justified by such a move?.. Think hard.. Harder.. nope.. that wasn’t it.. a bit more.. that’s it.. you’ve NEVER been justified.. yet you still do it

In fact, each and every time you repost such messages (or forward them to all of your mailing list) you are actually spreading a virus. That’s right.. a VIRUS! A virus that infects common sense and is designed to make you look gullible to your friends. Don’t worry, your Hard Disk and your Facebook account are safe… though I highly doubt that you should be allowed to own a facebook account, let alone a computer…

Let’s take some examples at this point and work them out a bit, starting from the famous “your favourite FREE service, that you have grown so addicted to -since you’ve been using it for years on a daily basis- decides to start charging you through the nose unless you post this dire warning to your wall”. And let’s also disregard the fact that somewhere on the webpage of the service there’s a clear disclaimer by the service’s developers that the service has always been and will always be free. Disregard also the fact that the financial power of said services lies in the sheer amount of people using it and charging the users for your service would seriously cripple your user base.. especially since there’s a metric fuckton of “still free” alternative services out there. If you decided to base your financial model on getting money from your users, would you really go about offering a way to circumvent the payment.. to everyone? My.. that’s a spectacularly brilliant business model there. Oh, and while we’re at it, keep in mind that if you are not paying for it, you are NOT the customer. You are the product!

But wait.. it doesn’t really matter, because it *WAS ON THE NEWS*!!!.. so it must be true. Of course, you have absolutely no idea what news those were. TV? Radio? Newspapers? Site?.. Did you see a source citation? or a link to the news post? Well, here’s a revelation.. You are an idiot.. and it’s true because it was also on the news..And unlike you, I can cite my sources: http://www.youareanidiot.org/

In the meantime I find your total disregard for grammar and context amusing. Especially when the aforementioned dire warning has reached you, hilariously google-translated, to your own language. Oh it doesn’t matter that when “facebook’s price grid” (which already makes hardly any sense) gets google-translated to the equivalant of “facebook’s honor iron-fence” and is as relevant to the context of the message as an iPod on King Arthur’s round table. Not only you spread around bogus crap, it doesn’t even make sense. And if for some unfathomable reason it does make sense to you, you don’t spend even the time to correct it to something that even remotely resembles something articulate.

Another amusing thing is the temporal vagueness and the time-paradoxes of such messages. Especially for virus warnings that were supposedly issued by entities that have nothing to do with virus intelligence (such as CNN).. *yesterday*. Right.. guess what, after a month that gullible people like you keep circulating the message it will still say that it was mentioned on CNN yesterday… time surely moves slow if you’re a tool.. Which is also the case with serious messages and calls for help and blood donations.

Seriously.. do a bit of research before blindly reproducing things on your wall. That little kid who is about to die in the hospital because the doctors expect it to kick the bucket within the week unless she gets an ample supply of blood. That might very well be a true case and true enough, the last time I saw such a message with a kid having a week’s margin to get blood I did my research and found out that there is indeed such a kid and had indeed a need for blood… but 5 years ago… Imagine now that the kid prolly didn’t make it.. and yourself becoming a link in the huge chain that will try to make sure that somehow the kid’s parents will bump upon the said message and feel.. OH SO HAPPY about it..

Moving on to another favourite type of messages, the ones I call pity-hoaxes. That little girl in Namimbia who has 3 legs, half a testicle and dundruff on her bellybutton plus needs money to undergo a sex change operation (yeah I exaggerate, let’s go with what’s really on the hoax message wich is a little girl who has developed brain cancer because her father was beating her on her head). Naturally, a very pious and generous organization like say the Make-A-Wish foundation will step up and donate 7 cents for the cause each time someone forwards or pastes the message on their wall. Seriously.. try to be rational just for a wee bit here. Imagine that *YOU* are the Make-a-Wish foundation, and you have expressed the interest to donate a pile of money to the family of the little girl (because if the father abuses his daughter he deserves to get the money right?). And let’s assume that you have miraculously found a way to monitor half a billion facebook accounts to see who has reposted the message. Would you go in all that trouble setting up a vague attempt over an indefinite amount of time instead of ..oh I don’t know.. giving the money straight to the family? Or has it occured to you that even if this was trully legitimate you’d be risking ending up giving 35 billion dollars for a single surgery? (assuming that everyone on facebook reposted the message). Hell.. for 35 billion dollars I’d undergo brain surgery even if my brain’s fine.

What.. you don’t believe me? See what Make-A-Wish foundation has to say about that on their website: http://www.wish.org/about/fraud_alerts Stings like a bitch.. ain’t it?

You might be wondering right now, why I’m all fussed about this. What’s the big deal? It doesn’t hurt really.. it’s just two clicks and who knows.. you might be saving a life for all you know. Please do realize that your gullibility is *DANGEROUS*. If you make it a habbit reproducing information you discover online or hear on the grapevine without first checking for its validity, then you have to realize that all you do is spread false terror, possibly endangering people by exposing them to false information and waste the precious time of the people that will have to go about and undo what you have helped create. Next thing you know, you’ll be sharing your passwords, credit card numbers and bank account information to scammers who’ll be able to fool you with the oldest and most obvious tricks in the book. Not to mention of course the damage you have inflicted upon your credibility, sense and critical thinking because seriously.. I’m torn between either facepalming or laughing at you…

So, if you’ve reached this far and you can still control your hissy fit and rage tendencies, here’s a bit of advice for you the next time you bump into such a message and feel the uncontrollable desire to share it on your wall. 99.9% of the times, what you read is a hoax. But don’t take my word for granted. Go to a hoax busting site like www.snopes.com or www.hoax-slayer.com and search for the message you received. Read about it and be amazed at how old some of those hoaxes are.

Teach yourself to think and face the information with a critical mind. If a dire warning is poorly constructed, syntactically and grammatically then that’s a surefire indication that something’s wrong. If the message is enriched with supposed “credible” sources like news networks or large company websites, look for a link to the source article on those sites. If there’s none to be found.. it’s a hoax. Same goes with dates. If the time is being mentioned as “yesterday” or “last night” or “last week” etc, then it’s a hoax.. or at the very least, severely outdated.

And now, you can safely consider yourself enlightened. If you’re still holding back to your anger, then do the world a favor and the next time you bump upon such a message, point the person who reproduced it to this post. Won’t make you very popular, I know.. but you’d be doing the right thing.

PS: About that guy in Brazil who died after masturbating 42 times in a row… I submit to thee.. that if the guy is indeed dead after 42 consecutive succesful masturbation attempts… who the fuck was counting and reported it?!?!?