If there is one thing that goes in the same category as spam email, then it has to be chain emails. It seems strange that otherwise normal people would believe that by sending an email, nothing more than a organised set of 1's and 0's that they can somehow influence their luck.

However I've just discovered there is something worse than the stupid emails that claim you will have 10 years of good luck (or whatever they are offering) by forwarding it to 100 people. It is a petition email.

Here is the story (copied straight from the email):
Someone went into a chat room and saw something that was horrible! Two people were fighting over how black people suck. They called them "niggers" and "jungle babies" and they said that they multiply like crazy just to get a welfare check every month. This is important, I want to get 250 signatures on here. If you are not racist, then please sign it. If you ARE racist, don't sign it. Send it to as many people as you can. If you don't send this, you will not have bad luck, but have to live with the guilt that you hate someone because they are different, or you were too busy at the time. Think before you delete this. Once it has 250 signatures, send it to petal_306@hotmail.com Please send this to at least one person. Copy all the words then paste them on a blank email and add your name. Also make sure not to put your last name for security! Thank you! P.S. Please copy this and go to compose and paste. Thank you again!

This is the stupidest thing that I've ever read. Now I see several problems with this story:

  • Someone went into a chat room: It would be nice to know the exact chat room. Heck, it could have been one at a KKK website for all we know.
  • I want to get 250 signatures on here: Why? I'd like to know what me adding my name to this list will achieve. Apart from telling all my friends that I'm a gullible idiot, it seems pointless to add my name to a list that I doesn't even require my full name. And what will be done with the petition after it has its needed 250 names? Further trouble arises when I found other versions of the email stating that only 200 names were needed.
  • If you don't send this, you will not have bad luck: Oh, it is good to know that this isn't one of those emails that does have the power to do that
  • petal_306@hotmail.com: The best thing is that this email address is not even valid (according to http://www.breakthechain.org/). So after all the effort, nothing will happen when you send it on.
However the email did get better as underneath were the list of names. The email I received had 231 names attached. All seemed well until you reached name number 66. We then started to get the comments, which showed as much coherency as a four year old. I could just imagine some teenage girl saying them. From Maria in Canada, we have the insightful:
Omg, I hate racists, I hope they f*cking die because t's wrong to treat somebody differently just because of their culture, skin color, whatever. Go whoever started this!

And from Megan (who also likes to be called Meges) we get:
i hate RACISM that is just mean just becuz they have differnt color of skin dosnt mean anything ok so dont be rude!!

And my last extract comes from Leanne (who obviously needs to get rid of her cellphone before it ruins any chance of her being able to spell properly and write coherent sentences):
Racists suck!! PPL should think twice about wat they say because the person that is dissing the other person might be different to them...So put urself in other ppls shoes.

Now, I must say now that in no way I am a rascist or condone rascist behaviour. It is just that this email does not seem to provide enough information for me to believe that it will do anything. If I run the chatroom (if it even exists) then how I am to know that the list was not created with a random name generator. It also lacks the seven requirements that http://www.breakthechain.org have for an e-petition:

  • Expiration: There is no time limit
  • Focus: There isn't a well defined target
  • Integrity: Is someone coordinating the petition to make sure it gets to the proper party in the proper format?
  • Privacy
  • Reliability: There is someone to send the email to, but of course the email doesn't work
  • Sponsorship: The organiser is undefined and there is no way of contacting them apart from the email address
  • Validity: There are absolutely no cited facts or sources