Over at Stuff Christians Like, Jon suggests that maybe, maybe, juuuuust maybe one might want to verify a wild rumor before e-mailing it out one's entire friend's list.
He also gives a few hints on when you should be suspicious of a "I heard it from a friend so you must send it on" forwarded e-mail.
May I add:
-After claiming that you must get word out about how Obama is conspiring with China to ensure that all Gerber's products contain lead paint and hemlock, it concludes with, "Send this on to fifteen friends, and you are guaranteed to come across found money within seven days!"
-It claims "urgent action must be taken!" and "if we don't get enough e-mails in five days," but there is no date on the e-mail. (Chances are it has been circulating for over a decade.)
-It assumes limited scope and ability of mega-corporations. As in the notion that Apple would be unable to find people to test the I-pad -- unless you help! Or that Facebook has no access to technology that will let them know if a user's account is inactive -- unless you forward this e-mail!
-In the body of the e-mail, in contains the phrase "insert name of current celebrity here."
-I would also suggest that if it too readily confirms something outrageous that you really want to believe, you need to garner the self-discipline to check before forwarding. For example, if you are an ultra-libbie war dissenter, and you get that conspiracy e-mail showing a picture of Bin Laden living in the guest house of a certain Crawford, TX rancher, you might want to check your sources before sending it on.
Not saying it isn't true, just saying you might want to check.
Just my thoughts,