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..Are you an Email-Forwarding Ideologue? * ..

.Five 5 Rules for Courteous & Intelligent Email Forwarding:
How NOT to Pass On Propaganda!

.by Matt Moody, Ph.D...

1 - Confirm Validity. Look for Evidence, Authors, and References. Before forwarding any information, find out if ideas are accurate and true. The following websites offer evidence and references to help you see the Lies & Urban Legends — so you can separate Fact from Fiction.

Snopes.com
FactCheck.org
PolitiFact.com
Hoax-Slayer.com
UrbanLegends.com
TruthOrFiction.com

Don't accept any of the previous sources as the final word; instead, refer to them for the verifiable facts they provide. Conversely, if you've "heard" that any of these sources are biased, push passed "hearsay" and look for Verifiable Evidence and Authoritative References — don't be an ideologue* and merely sift for ideas with which you agree! Truth is, YOU may be harboring bad assumptions, a.k.a., mind viruses. Dr Wayne Dyer cautions:

Don't believe everything you think!

Triangulate your research by checking multiple sources to see if similar conclusions are drawn. Accept Verifiable Evidence wherever you can find it. Don't throw the baby (the Evidence) out with the bath water because of dirty "hearsay" rumors. In sorting Fact from Fiction, remember Mark Twain's sage advice:

It ain't what you don't know that makes you a fool,..
but what you think you know . . . that ain't so! **

2 - Beware of Anonymous Authors making Unsubstantiated Assertions. Sadly, the vast majority of Forwarded Emails comes in this unintelligent format. Here's Dr Matt's First Rule of Evidence:

Saying it . . . doesn't make it so!

When an email simply "says it" — without offering Evidence or References — this is a RED FLAG indicative of Low Quality Information at best, and Propaganda at worst. In the long run, undocumented information is NOT worth reading and absolutely NOT worth Forwarding.

Raise your standards! Invest your time and fill your mind with Excellent Information written by Excellent Authors who back their words with a byline — authors who are accountable for what they say! In contrast, avoid anonymous authors who cower in corners and dodge accountability.

3 - Let Evidence Inform Your Opinions. Living with Integrity means allowing the Truth to shape and change present opinions. Truth includes the knowledge of things as they are — not as you want things to be. William James said this:

A great many people think they are thinking
when they are really just rearranging their prejudices.

People tend to gravitate towards information that agrees with their present opinion, regardless of its validity. To do such, is to cease thinking intelligently and merely rearrange prejudices. Again, look for Evidence, Authors, and References.

According to a Rasmussen Survey, Eighty-two percent (82%) of Americans "believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God who came to Earth and died for our sins." Americans who believe in Jesus should live by this New Testament teaching:

But shun profane and vain babblings:
for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
(2 Tim. 2:16) 

The word "vain" derives from the Latin word "vanus" — meaning "empty." Empty Words are written and spoken every time we pass on ideas that have no credible evidence of being true. Christians should be live by this Standard:

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
(1 Thess. 5:21) 

4 - Use Blind Send. When you've found something worth forwarding, always use Blind Send — also called "Blind Carbon Copy" and abbreviated "BCC." As you do this, you show respect for others by keeping their email addresses confidential.

If you don't do this — and you expose addresses on your forwarding list — you reveal these addresses to countless other people (as emails are Forwarded & Re-Forwarded). Exposing your Email List is not only inconsiderate, it's unsafe! Spammers & Cyber Stockers feed upon such exposed lists.

By NOT using Blind Send, this says you don't care
about the privacy of friends and family.

5 - Cut & Paste. If you choose to Forward a clever joke or a "good cause," . . . Copy only the pertinent information and Paste it into a Fresh Email, eliminating all unnecessary clutter: to include long lists of email addresses, distracting carrots ( < < < < < ) , and line after line of empty comments like "You've gotta read this!" or "Forward this email to everyone you know!"

Cut out unnecessary clutter, paste the heart of the message into a Fresh Email, then send it BCC:

Be an Intelligent & Considerate Email Forwarder!
Life's too short to read Low-Quality Emails littered
with  useless  Forward-Clutter  and  written  by
Anonymous or Falsely-Attributed Authors
who make Unsubstantiated Assertions.

...* Ideologue: Someone who already has his/her mind made up — even when the facts say otherwise.
.** Sage advice edited by Dr Matt, based upon Mark Twain's words: "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." — these words are also attributed to Will Rogers, but my research points to Mark Twain as the original author.

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