Of Hoaxes and Urban Legends
I’m sure lahat tayo naka-receive na by email ng mga sinasabing hoax at mga urban legends. Ang pinakamarami yung mga tungkol sa mga computer viruses. Meron din yung tungkol naman sa Microsoft, Bill Gates at AOL tracking emails at namimigay daw ng $245 for every person you forward the email to. Then there was this one I received on how to recognize a stroke. Tatlong bagay daw ang dapat gawin. Ask the individual to smile, ask them to raise both arms, and ask them to speak a simple sentence. How about Art Bell’s hate letter about Filipinos? I’m sure most have read it. And most of us have been tempted to forward the email to friends. Langya, dehins pala totoo ang mga ito.
Minsan o kadalasan napapaniwala tayo ng mga kathang isip na ito at tuloy na-ifoforward natin ang email sa mga kakilala natin. Without knowing it we are unwittingly being used to spread something that is not true or just partly true.
How does one spot a hoax or urban legend? Eto ang sabi ni Hans Eisenman.
Eto naman ngayon ang problema ko. How do you verify if someone is telling the truth when they say that a certain email is a hoax? What if the original email is in fact true, and that the people who declare it to be a hoax are in fact the ones spreading a hoax? Parang yung sabi nila na hoax lang daw yung paglanding ng Apollo sa buwan. Which one is the hoax? Is the Apollo landing a hoax or the assertion that it is a hoax is the actual hoax? Ang gulo ano? A basta, tigilan na lang ang pag-forward ng kahit anong email na may nakalagay na "please forward..." or "please email to everyone...".
- Does the email recommending sending it to everyone you know?
- Does reading it make you feel outraged, angry or like you have to "do something" (hint: like forward the email)?
- Do you find yourself saying "incredible!", but yet somehow believing it could happen?
- Does the subject matter scare you? Does it make you think "what a scary world we live in today!" or something similar? In other words, is it preying on your fears?
If any of these is true, chances are it’s a hoax. When you receive an email that fits any of these, don’t forward the email. Try Googling it first to verify the veracity of the email.