Clogging Servers with Chain Messages

I have one, and you probably do too. I’m referring to those cherished friends who simply cannot resist forwarding the latest chain message that catches their fancy.

No matter how many times I explain to my dear friend what I do for a living, she still thinks I’ll appreciate the chain messages she forwards. The only progress I’ve made with her is that she no longer puts everyone she sends it to on the “To:” line, and she now removes all the forwards that otherwise would have shown the last 576 people that were on the thread…..

Chain messages may be about an uplifting or funny thought of the day, or show an amazing or adorable photo, they may purport to alert you to a scam, or to offer a way to help fund the medical expenses of a desperately sick child. Frequently these urge you to forward the message on to friends in order to gain the ‘luck’ or avoid the ‘curse’ of not doing so. My friend once sent a chain message that said that if recipients failed to forward the message to 10 women within 10 minutes the elastic in their underwear would break… now there’s a threat worth avoiding.

Unfortunately, these messages aren’t just mild amusement or annoyances. They can deliver malware and harvest email accounts of those who participate. They clog servers and cost hosting services millions of dollars – which companies recoup by charging everyone more for their services.

Then again, maybe YOU are the culprit that’s sending these to everyone you know….

If you happen to be one of those people, who simply cannot resist forwarding the latest chain message then this old blog excerpt is for you. It’s titled Breaking the Chain Mail found on, and written by Steve Hofstetter:



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