Who has never received one of those hideous “strings”? These menacing messages try to make you feel guilty about something or threaten you to burn in flaming hell if you do not you spread the message to X people, share it on your wall or retweet it …
As old as mankind, propagation forms have changed with the times. Many years ago, in another century, you had to handwrite, envelope, stamp and mail every single letter. Imagine having to send a single letter to all your acquaintances? With the arrival of the Internet and the impact of new technologies, the speed of propagation of the chains was increased to the nth degree: the methods are extended and then come into play version “forward to 5 people by email or SMS” and somewhat later the same phenomenon appears in social networks, “share it on your wall if or else you …”
And the question I ask myself is, or else what?
- I’ll be unlucky in love?
- You’ll lose your job?
- The health of your family will be jeopardized?
- Your friends will suffer a scam after opening a link?
- You will be charged for using whatsapp?
What makes people to continue spreading these hoaxes?
These messages take advantage of the good feelings of the people, their greed, their superstitions and, above all, the ignorance of the receiver. They are easy bait for uneducated, fearful and gullible people.
- Those which supposedly will help you economically.
- Those which will bring good or bad luck. It depends on whether or not you propagate the chain.
- Those which are altruistic and do not seek any personal benefit but to help others.
- Those which give you something in exchange for something else
How to detect them? Recognizing them is not difficult.
Before forwarding these messages it is best to dig a little on the Internet.
- If it is a hoax it will be displayed on the first page of Google.
- If it looks real, think of a solidarity campaign, for example, it’s best to see if we are referred to a website with the full information, campaign end dates are published, or if it is endorsed by any institution that promotes various social actions.
- If we are threatened or warned that something bad will happen if you don’t forward the message, then, it is a hoax, therefore, false.
- If the message comes unsigned, do not trust it.
If you still have doubts, just don’t resend the message. The FBI page has very good information.
What are they after?
Some people intend to overload servers, others want to spread real viruses, others seek listings of email addresses, and some even ask the user to delete files that are critical for the system to work, saying that it is a virus that has infected the hard drive.
If the strings were true, some of my friends should be millionaires and I should have died and at least thirty times …
And you, have you suffered any of these annoying chains?