I get them all the time, and most of the time they seem too good to be true. That’s because, most of the time, they aren’t true.
Chain emails, especially those claiming this or that about politicians, are prevalent but seldom accurate. Sometimes they turn out to be true, but most of the time they are either only partly true or not true at all.
Emails claiming anything from Oliver North’s life being threatened by Osama bin Laden to the non-American birthplace of President Obama often feed into the readers’ preconceived views on a subject or person. Certain people are all-too-eager to believe them and forward them on because they affirm their suspicions; forget fact-checking them.
The problems is that forwarding these claims without checking their veracity makes the sender appear ignorant to the informed person — especially the informed person on the opposite end of the political spectrum. Conservatives and libertarians would do well to always double-check these emails when they receive them. If they are true, pass them on. If they are not, reply back to the sender to let them know the facts.
Some good sources to consult when attempting to fact-check these emails include the following Web sites:
Doing your homework will save you the embarrasment of appearing ignorant and will aid your ability to persuade people when you send them political emails that are actually factual.