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Gullibility Virus Spreading over

Apologies to Phil and others...  Seemed pertinent due to recent posts.

> ******************************************************************
> WARNING, CAUTION, DANGER, AND BEWARE!   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.
> ****************************************************************** 
> 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! Lots!!
> 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.)
> ******************************************************************