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How can I gently explain to non-techie friends they are the victim of a hoax? [closed]

How can I gently explain to non-techie friends they are the victim of a hoax? [closed]

We all have them. On Facebook, Twitter, even in email. That friend (or friends) that rebroadcast every hoax from abandoned puppies, abducted little girls or whichever political outrage email is currently en vogue.

Asked by: Guest | Views: 94
Total answers/comments: 5
Guest [Entry]

"When it comes to hoaxes and non-techie users, being gentle is really the wrong tactic.

It's only a matter of time before they fall for something that actually harms them, by stealing their information, or something else. They need to learn, and quickly.

Personally I reply all with a link to snopes or elsewhere, explaining that it's a hoax. Then I include this line: ""Every email that asks you to forward to all your friends is a hoax, or a joke by somebody that just wants to clog people's email."""
Guest [Entry]

I agree with the comments on using Snopes, but since your question asked how to explain the hoax gently, I would often start my reply by something like, "I saw this before and someone told me it's a hoax. Here's a link to an article on Snopes." Depending on the person, I sometimes follow up with a quick explanation of what the Snopes.com site is all about.
Guest [Entry]

"I tend to reply briefly to all, something like this:

Fear not, it's a hoax. see [insert snopes.com link here]

Over time, they either learn to be more skeptical, check snopes.com themselves, or take me off of their junk-mail-forwarding list.

All of which are Good Things.

The rare item that is actually true gets a similar reply-to-all:

oddly enough, this is a true story - and the details
make it even better, see [insert snopes.com link here]

Once again, to subtly encourage the use of snopes.com."
Guest [Entry]

"I just talk to the person -- separately, away from others, and preferably not over e-mail. I tell them that when they get something, anything like that, the first thing they should do is validate it over on snopes.com. (Something you're already doing for them.)

If I suspect they can't handle that, then I just let it be. I learned a long time ago that some people just don't want to be corrected, even when they're not only wrong, but possibly dangerously so. :)"
Guest [Entry]

I just don't make friends with the easily led :) Forwarding a mass email is a fast track to be flagged as a spammer.