Avoid spreading hoax e-mails

The terrorist attacks in Manhattan, Washington, DC and the Pittsburgh area constitute the most tragic and violent events ever perpetrated in the United States. As with other tragedies, conspiracy theories, hoaxes, and other forms of misinformation crop up almost immediately, playing on people’s hopes, fears, and appetite for amazing tales. E-mail has multiplied the speed and extent to which hoaxes, rumors and urban legends spread.

There are several web sites summarizing misinformation related to the terrorist attacks. Check them for factual information that debunks much of the foolishness circulating in e-mails and on the Web (such as the “NASA candle request,” bogus “quotes” from Nostradamus, equally bogus numerology, appalling charity scams, and more). Three such sites:

http://urbanlegends.about.com/http://urbanlegends.about.com/

http://www.snopes.com/http://www.snopes.com/

http://www.csicop.org/hoaxwatch/http://www.csicop.org/hoaxwatch/

Please check one of these sites before forwarding any messages of dubious provenance to your friends or posting them on the Forum.