What’s Wrong With Forwarding Urban Legends, Chain Letters or Hoaxes?

I still get many of these sent to me from well meaning friends and students. I always try to gently tell the sender that they’ve been mislead and that the message is a hoax or urban legend. I would like to have a fairly standard reply letter ready which I can just copy and paste and send them in reply to the chain letter or hoax they’ve sent me. The latest one I received is about “Amy Bruce’s Final Wish”. About a sick child who will be helped by the Make A Wish Foundation if people forward the email. When I Googled it I found this site www.breakthechain.org “What’s Wrong With Forwarding Chain Letters?” I like their response. Break the chain website explains that chain letters, myths, hoaxes or urban legends which mention groups like the Make A Wish foundation make a lot of trouble for them. The foundation spends a lot of time and money responding to inquiries about bogus chain letters which bear their good name. These chain letters, forwarded by people who want to help, actually keep organisations from delivering valuable services to real children who actually need it.

I used to refer people to www.snopes.com for the debunking of urban legends but I think www.breakthechain.org gives better explanations of why not to believe these emails and not to send them on.

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