Q: Chain letters, really? Do people still do those?
a: Yes, chain letters are more common on the internet than they used to be via snailmail, and they don't just come in the form of get rich quick or make money fast (mmf) pyramid schemes and good/bad luck warnings.
If it's trying to or has gone viral, it's a chain letter.
Q: What do you mean when you say chain letters aren't just about luck and pyramid schemes? What others could there be?
A: Chain letters come in the form of so many things, many are hoaxes, some are not; bogus medical claims, misleading advice, campy horror stories, worthless e-petitions, political rants, religious frauds, viral jokes/brain-teasers and quizzes, Viral videos such as this Bieber desperation video, shout-outs for help and to get stuff passed on, as in the YA follow-up to the video, re-emailed/reposted links/pictures/anything, especially with pleas to "share" "repost" "pass/send along" etc. or other highly emotional language "Urgent!' 'If you care, you'll do this!' 'This is so funny/cute/sad/scary/etc.' faux news stories that turn out to be hoaxes that dupe many media outlets and readers, and many more.
They cover a vast array of subjects and themes, and play on every human emotion and desire.
Urban Legends Online
Q: What about those pictures with funny captions that you see everywhere? Those are called memes.
A: Yes. And memes are chain letters. The only difference between a "dank" or "spicy" meme and an email chain letter is the form of meme it is. It's a picture with text. Just as annoying as the same old holiday joke emails that go around every year.
In addition, both types of memes have migrated to social networks in a big way, so that same old meme about "seniors VS. refugees" gets shared via Facebook repost on people's timelines. So does that picture with a caption trying to be funny/goofy/political cartoon etc.
There are also the micro memes, mostly stale old jokes and trolls, and worn out cliches that are reposted and overkilled so much that they make a meme-mangler want to get put into a coma from hearing/reading too many times.
Chuck Norris jokes. "Ur mom" and anything commonly spouted by trolls.
Cancer is one of the biggest internet memes, and it is also a micromeme. If you're on the net for any amount of time, especially social media, you have probably been exposed to dreaded cancer glurge memes. These are the type that tear-jerk everyone into feeling bad about cancer and re-sharing the meme shows they care enough to "stand up and fight against" cancer.
Cancer as a micromeme is a bit different. It makes a joke out of both cancer and out of something else being compared with it. I.E. "Bronyism is cancer!" "Feminism is cancer!" When that's being repeated so much in Youtube comments, whether it's about bronies, feminists or anything else, it is apparent that Youtube is saturated with mindless meme-addicted trolls who can't come up with an original, let alone good thought to jot in a comment.
A joke that started out funny can turn into a micromeme and quickly become as annoying as any other.
A new micromeme burst on the scene in August 2016. It is "Hugh Mungus. The joke was funny originally. But it soon became an annoying micromeme as commenters on Youtube went crazy reposting "Tell any SJW your name is Hugh Mungus" in response to videos showcasing social justice warriors demanding to know people's first and last names.
So from the email chain letter on down to the micromeme, we do not like them. Chain letters, memes, same thing - friendly spam.
Q: What!? You Mean, My Friends Have Been participating in Chain Letters!?
A: If it's from a friend of a friend, or seen posted all over social media from different and unrelated sources, we're sorry to break it to you, but it's a chain letter. They call them memes to make them sound cooler, but it's still chain letters.
A: Why Didn't I Figure That Out?
Q: do you think your friends are a trusted source of information?
Unfortunately, your friends think that of their other friends too, who sent them that chain email/social network share/tag/repost scheme.
It's a sad fact that if you got some supposedly urgent or amazing thing from a friend, it's nothing but a chain letter that is more than likely to be full of inaccuracies and all out falsehoods, nothing but spam/gossip started by some bored troll who thought it would be cool to see how many people they could dupe. What's more, that friend of a friend also got it from a friend of a friend of a friend, and so have many others who have no connection or association at all to you or your friend.
Your friends aren't lying to you, they've just been duped, lied to, same as the poor saps who shared the meme with them.
people who are new to the net can be excused for not seeing them for what they are as they live and hopefully learn differently.
Some people are well aware those are chain letters and don't even care, and they should.
Q: Mangling? Why not just call it chain-breaking?
A: Well, we do definitely break chain letters, but the difference between merely breaking and all out meme-mangling is this:
Breaking: All that is required to break a chain letter is to simply not pass it along. Just delete it without saying anything about it to whoever sent/shared it, or to anyone else.
Mangling: This goes beyond the bare minimum of chain-breaking. Mangles are personally written comments about and in reaction, in a combination debunk and sound-off against memes. They may be sent in response to the sender, or written and posted elsewhere on the net, especially when you are feeling particularly annoyed but haven't the heart to tell the person who shared it directly.
What hoaxers attempt to do in their manipulative lying schemes, Meme-mangling is all about undoing.
Q: Great! I'm joining this anti-chain!"
A: Whoa! Back up, there! *Urch!*
Let's get something straight:
We oppose memes, but MTM is not, I repeat, *NOT* an "anti-chain"!
That term has come to mean 'fighting chain letters with chain letters' which is just adding to the meme problem, and that is something we don't do.
Anti-chains and meme-mangling are not the same thing at all.
anti-chains attempt or actually do spread as much as the hoaxes they satirize.. They ARE memes.
Read about anti-chains and why they only contribute to the viral problem here.
Q: Reading through articles on this site, I noticed you're putting emojis at the start instead of the end of sentences a lot. Why?
A: MTM is not a conventional site in the first place, so emojis get treated differently too. Emoji Icons some love them, some hate them, but they are mostly used on this site as email indicators and for specifying who's saying what, and what kind of people they are. Emojis are rarely used to express emotion from the MTM site owners themselves. In addition, the name or handle is written out, denoting who is saying what as well. This is for the benefit of anyone using a screen-reader that may not recognize emojis.
Q: Why do you put "cr@p" in some places and in others, spell it straight out "crap"?
A: "Cr@p" means it was originally the s--- word. You will notice that words coming from BP or Ocean Elf will have it spelled out because we actually use "crap" and not the other word. We also wanted to make it clear when other people use words we do not, but without subjecting the readers to the vulgarities, which can make some people uncomfortable and put them off a site. Therefore, we actually do use "freaking" when expressing ourselves. People who use the f-bomb will have that written in as "flare" thanks to the Jeff The Killer 2015 re-write for the idea. Etc. etc.
Q: I want to read scary chain letters/get more funny pictograms to spread around."
A: No. There are tons of sites that churn out those goofy images, and chain letters are not scary, they are annoying and stupid. If you want a thrill scare, go watch a horror flick. And no, not "Chain Letter" 2010 or "The Ring" which only encourage people to be scared of chain letters. "Urban Legend" is a much better pick by far. Even though it deals with subject matter found in memes, the end contains a great twist that doesn't encourage people to go "OMG, what if there really is a ghost under the bed? Maybe I should repost that chain letter next time."
MTM is here to oppose the spread of memes, not to bust your boredom. Move along.
Q: "I want ideas for starting chain letters." "I want to prank/rickroll somebody."
A: Scram, troll, you are not welcome here!
Q: I don't want to cause trouble, but I just want to know which chain letters scare people the most. I'd like to post about how chain letters scared me.
A: Not here.This is not a place to post "what is the creepiest chain letter?" threads or post "I'm creeped out by (insert Creepy Pasta villain/chain letter ghost etc)" which is already being done in so many places elsewhere on the net. So much that "What's the creepiest chain letter?" topics have become a meme.
As mentioned before, MTM's position is that chain letters and creepy pastas are ridiculous, not scary, and we are about banishing fear of chain letters, not fostering it or dwelling on how they used to scare you or someone else.. If you want to make confessions about how memes got you in the past, you are also required to mangle that meme in the same post.
Q: What is a good internet hoax?
A: There is no such thing as a good hoax. They are all deliberately deceptive and manipulative.
The fun comes in exposing it and examining why it is a hoax, and how it was pulled off.
Q: So when it's found to be a hoax, does it stop being a hoax?"
a: No. Once a hoax, always a hoax.
Examples: Piltdown Man and Slender Man, Baby-snatching eagle hoax video. (No matter how many times they recycle this hoax and apply it to a future date, it will remain a lie. Zombie apocalypse, face-eating, LPQ79 virus, Drilling to Hell, Moon landing conspiracy theories, trutherism. These have Don't believe chain emails.
Q: What's the harm?
A: To start with, all chain letters are impersonal. They are not special unique little snowflakes privy to only your friend's friend's brother's aunt, and passed on to only you. They get replicated in the billions all over the net from endless forwardings. So they waste bandwidth, clutter up the net, and the vast majority of them are untrue or at least completely useless.
The insidious thing about this stuff is how it has most people who send them on, believing they are somehow working for a greater good so that it's better to keep forwarding just in case. That's all part of the hoaxer's master manipulation plan to control the masses from behind his/her keyboard.
I do not like seeing my friends get used this way and am out of patience with all the excuses people continue to make for such willing compliance to some anonymous chain originator yet they can so freely deny or question something much more real, honest and personal from a friend.
Some memes are malicious toward organizations they set out to harm with monstrous lies. The bogus Good Will warning is an example of that. It claims Mark Curran, the owner of the charity is raking in millions.
There is no Mark Curran, owner of good Will. The CEO of Goodwill Industries International is Jim Gibbons, and he does not make millions.
Some memes are malicious toward little kids, religious people, or any group of people who can be mobilized into a spammy campaign. Some pander to specific genders and play up bad stereotypes. Some exploit horrible sickening yet true and often outdated stories and people's capability for outrage and sadness. and others are just plain laughable.
Gang Initiation and Kidney Theft Crime Ring Hoaxes - they are fiction, but they cause a lot of unnecessary panic, resulting in their being replicated even further to spread even more alarm. Such memes waste a lot of bandwidth and resources, and police departments and medical establishments etc. have to continue telling frightened people those stories are not real.
Death chain letters that scare young people are a form of anonymous bullying that cause a great deal of needless anxiety.
Some memes are ctechnically harmless and for real, but annoying, as in that Youtube video of those ridiculously cute puppies drinking goat milk, that kitty cuddling a teddybear/puppy/baby/anything, or those babies laughing themselves breathless when their parents rip up papers. What makes these into chain letters is that they have gone viral and everyone sends them to you or are talking about them to people offline because they find them so cute/hilarious. The problem is some of us are just sick of them and just because they're real doesn't mean we have to go along with the masses and adore them, especially not after getting them from 7 different people within 3 days, or hearing about them from excited people who just can't wait to gush about them offline.
There are plenty of ridiculously cute/hilarious vids and images that are edited and faked up as well. real or photocrapped, the official position of Chain-smashers is fed up to here with sickly viral cuteness. We'll take our real cuteness directly, in person, in the form of our own experiences with children and animals, and when we want additional cuteness, we will just go online and look through Google and Youtube ourselves, and suggest the same for anyone else, thank you.
And when it comes to the inspirational stuff, it's worth trying to find out if whatever your friend shared has an author who was stripped of credit in the meme and/or if it's a true story or not. Some are real, some are leg-pulls.
Q: Where do chain letters come from?
A: they can come from anywhere, but there are web sites out there specializing in the creation and replication of memes.
Q:Is anyone immune to falling victim to hoaxes? A: No. If a hoax is elaborate enough and it doesn't appear to have any sort of bias or political agenda, it can squeak past anyone for a time. The result is a hit to the credibility of any source that took it as truth later on when the reveal comes out that it was all a hoax.
Case in point, the Bicholim Conflict Wikipedia hoax. There never was such a conflict. The whole story was made up, complete with phoney source citings dreamed up by the hoaxer.
Chain letters are so annoying that many discussions are on the net about how people deal with receiving them. Just one such discussion is a thread on Disboards.com.
Q: How to, or how not to mangle memes?
A:. Meme-mangling 101 and there are some standards.
Q: Who are the Manglers?
A: Read about us here.
q: What's the most annoying type of chain letter?
A: The answer varies from person to person, but mostly, it seems to be death or good/bad luck memes, or political/religious oriented ones.
MTM finds all of them annoying.
q: What are some different types of chain letters?
A: Here's just a small listing of some obvious and not so obvious chain letter types.
Bogus money-making pyramid scheme, this is one of the most common examples thought of when the words "chain letter" are mentioned.
An example of such a scam is posted right on this link.
anti-chain letters - they don't stop chain letters, they just add to the problem, because they are what they satirize and claim to protest.
Glurge includes hoaxes and anything else that's meant to get you reaching for the tissues.
Chain Letter Children 101
Children in chain letters are particularly odious because they are so fake yet so manipulative.
Death Chain Letters And The Meaning Of The Word Dealive
Death memes (AKA forward-or-dies" are those which threaten you with death if you don't send them to other people.
Darwin and Stella Awards, And Other Stupid Lists are not real cases, and not fair to Stella Liebec, who's case was real and un-funny.
Dummy Reports are claims about companies or products that are completely false or built on a tiny grain of truth that is meaningless.
Random Survey Memes on blogs, email, social networks are apparently fun for some people to fill out, but they are forgettable to read, boring when bloggers do them repeatedly, and can bring on an overwhelming feeling of screaming rage when received too many times, in any mutation. This is especially true when some or most of the same questions are on different versions with the order changed up.
So-called Blog Awards are not really awards, but chain letters that play on ego, and they are extremely annoying to stumble across.
Facebook Chain Statuses Enough already!
Hogwash/IncompleteStoryMemes.html">Incomplete Story Forward don't fall for it and send it around. Check here instead, where you really will get more of the story. Any such incomplete story forwards to meet the people behind this site will be featured and added to in the above link, provided they are in good taste.
Recipe Chain Letters, Still Not Okay Political chain letters usually as bad jokes, rants, spoof/satire or cartoon form.
holiday chain letters these can make recipients want to throw objects instead of parties.
Q: I'll bet you'd like to go viral, though!
A: Believe it or not, the answer to that is - NO!
Q: What? You don't want me telling other people about Chain Smashers?
A: That's not what's being said. Let's clarify. We don't want to become a meme. We don't want anything from our site being turned into a chain letter. Not on the whole or in part… There is a big difference between that and being responsible in telling someone about MTM, particularly if the subject of chain letters is brought up by the other party. Telling someone else about MTM is fine if done responsibly.
Q: So when and how can I tell someone about MTM? Is just promoting your site okay?"
A: You may not just "promote" MTM I.E. going to some forum or someone's profile and out of nowhere just post a link to MTM, and you must definitely not repost it multiple times spammer fashion!
If you want to post links to MTM on other sites at all, you need to have a good reason for it. You are welcome to respond to any chain letter you see on other sites by posting a link to a mangling of that particular meme.
You are also welcome to include links from MTM when you are participating in discussions about chain letters on other sites. You may also include MTM as a source if you are writing your own article against hoaxes and other memes.
What we are requiring is that if you want to let other people know about MTM, please be responsible about it. DO NOT SPAM - and do not urge anyone else to "share" "repost" "send to" anyone else.! Just treat MTM links the same way you would Hoax-slayer or TruthOrFiction. etc.
Should MTM Go Viral? No.
Q: Does that mean I can just post a link to MTM as a Tweet or FB status because I happen to like the site?
A: Yes, you may, occasionally, but don't over-do it. We are meme *Manglers* not Buzzfeed, Elite Daily or Upworthy; those are chain letter mills. And they are liberal meme mills at that.
Q: What do you dislike?
A: Read all about it here.
Q: What have you got against Snopes?
A: Political bias and dishonesty.
Q: But they are a definitive site for busting hoaxes!
A: They used to be, to some degree, but they are not any more. Even when they were still an okay site, they had problems.
Q: Oh, wow, that's a laugh, you know there is a chain letter that goes off the deep end about how Snopes is "flaming leftist" so you're actually agreeing with, maybe even promoting that chain letter?
a: Not at all. That "Snopes Exposed" meme was written long ago, and though Snopes objectivity was already starting to be questioned then, the piece is still a chain letter, and filled with hysterical language and conjecture. It was just another excuse the far-right used in order to go on spreading anti-Obama memes.
Snopes has proven their bias amply since then, especially leading up to and after the 2016 US presidential election.
I saw for myself just how shoddy they could be with their so-called "fact-checking"/"debunking.
Q: So how can you refuse to promote Snopes without promoting the anti-snopes chain letter?
a: As already stated, Snopes has changed, for the worse. Read this article, including the links found within it to find out more.