The very first chain letter documented was by Daniel W. VanArsdale in 1888. It asked people to donate a dime to the education of poor children in the Cumberlands region of Tennessee, and then instructed the recipient to forward the letter to four friends.
Since then chain letters have evolved and moved from paper mail to e-mails and later to social media networks. However, chain mail nowadays usually contains some clause which pressurizes the recipient into forwarding it to other people.
Here’s an example of a typical chain mail we might receive today:
Subj: Re: (don’t open in front of parents) (sorry guys)
Date: 98-04-25 00:29:48 EDT
<< Five people actually got killed by not sending this piece of mail.
The creator of this mail has a program that will track down everyone who sent this mail and whoever that didn't send it will DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE because this program can actually track down your address.
Send this to 15 people within the next fifteen minutes or you will die die die die die, what do you have to lose? Your life? >>
Of course this is complete nonsense, but many people still believe such threats and send it on ‘just in case’. As a result, the number of recipients grow exponentially and a worthless and pointless piece of text is spread around the internet.
This YouTube video sums up chain mail very well.
- Spam Email (WFOTD)
- PepsiCo Misses Court Date, Costs Them $1.26 Billion In Default Judgement
- All About the Junk Mail
- Happy 40th Birthday Internet?
- How Many Times Can You Fold A Piece Of Paper In Half? (WFOTD)
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