Well, this is in continuity of my post “Break the chain”, a post directed against useless chain mails. I very strongly believe that all of us should behave like educated, responsible netizens and must cross-verify the contents of any mail before forwarding it. I admit that at times I too have fallen prey to these and have sent such mails, but still I won’t ever mind sending a damage-control mail before anybody tries to use the “information” contained in the original mail.
But often I feel that not all people feel this way. At times, I’ve got chain mails of “Forward this mail else…” from total strangers and by the time, I type down a stern reply to that guy, my inbox already shows 2-3 more mails (the same mail forwarded as a “reply-all”) from people, who felt scared enough of the mentioned consequences, but didn’t wish to bother their friends.
Though I agree that the most irritating types of forwards are the ones mentioned above (forward else..), still I feel that the most dangerous type of chain-mails are the ones which seek to (mis)inform. This is because many users take the contents too seriously and may actually try to implement those suggestions. In case the information is misleading or grossly wrong (as is often the case), this can prove harmful.
So about a month back, I got a forward from Mr. AA, the moderator of the yahoo group for our society. The forward provided some deep knowledge about things that a number of things about “Mobile phone emergency usage”. The mail claimed to tell us a number of things we never knew about our mobile phones. The content of the mail can be located at this link. The best part was that Mr. AA had specifically added in the end: “This is the kind of information people don’t mind receiving.” 😀
I dutifully replied on the group citing the above link and mentioning that anybody would actually mind receiving a mail with any misleading info. (i.e. if he gets to know that the mail is misleading). I also pointed him to the link to my original blog-post on chain-mails and requested him to cross-verify things before forwarding.
From my past experience with such mail-forwarders, I was almost sure that the Mr AA (being the mod) would exercise his discretion in filtering out my mail and it won’t actually reach the intended audience. Not many people can afford to lose their face publicly after dispensing immense gyan on a subject. ( I don’t feel that correcting oneself is loss of face, but unfortunately most people do.)
So as my blog statistics show, Mr. AA did see my mail and visited my blog as well. But as expected my mail never appeared on the group. But surprise, surprise!! There was something unexpected in store for me. As it suddenly struck me a couple of days back, I’m not receiving any mails from the group. I got curious and checked that I’ve got no mails from the group from the time I sent that erring mail. I visited the group homepage to confirm what was quite obvious to me now: I was no longer the part of the group!!! I was thrown out for correcting wrong information!!
Thinking of it, I’d surely like to know the reasons why Mr. Mod decided to throw me out. Is it because of fear of “loss of face”? But think of it: Would people have minded if he had approved my mail to be sent to the group? I don’t think so.. But even if one person tries to apply any of the mentioned tricks and fails to get the results (Or may be get inverse results), that would be real loss of face.. What say, Mr AA??
I’m not terribly interested in being the part of the mentioned group. “The group is not for discussing society grievances”: Mr AA had once clarified when I had sent some issues with the working of the society. So I had assumed that the group was primarily for forwarded messages and thus, my interest in continuing with the group had dropped. But yup, there were some real good messages like the ones from a very experienced professor in our society. Would have liked to see some stuff like that. But this is not what concerns me.Primarily what hurts me is to see how man behaves even when he gets least of the powers. 🙁 Rightly said: “Power corrupts, Absolute power corrupts absolutely”