The Man Behind The Bill Gates Email Forwarding Hoax

from the found,-at-last! dept

Over the years, there have been plenty of different variants on the chain letter urban legend saying that Bill Gates will give you cash for forwarding on the email. A reporter at Wired Magazine began to wonder just how these hoax emails got started. While most of the article goes through how people get suckered into passing on chain letters all the time (and what their reasoning is), he eventually (towards the end of the article) tracks down the guy who started the very first “Bill Gates will give you money for forwarding this email” email. The guy started it as a joke, and never ever expected it to get as far as it did. When it first took off at a ridiculous rate he got scared that he would get in trouble for fraud — but he’s been mostly erased by history. Most of the emails were quickly modified to remove his name (which brings up completely different questions…). When asked why he didn’t want to claim “credit” for one of the longest-living, constantly mutating hoaxes, he responds with what the author calls “one of the greatest social critiques of our age”: “I didn’t really think of that. It’s just a hoax. And if I admitted to it, why would anyone believe me?”

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Comments on “The Man Behind The Bill Gates Email Forwarding Hoax”

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Wolfgang Gro? says:

Re: re;help

Finanz hilfe (help)SPENDEN dursch meine Krankheit !
die seid den 13.03.03 fortlaufend anh?lt.
Ist meine Familie, nach den verbrauch vom gesprarten Geld,in Finanzjeller Not geraten ben?tigen – – – – ?
dringend gute Menschen die helfen k?nnen!
Jeder Cent z?hlt.
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Inhaber Wolfgang Gro?

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Frederick Asante Offei says:

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I am a 29 year old man who has struggled through life to get educated. I wasn’t able to complete formal education because of poverty but have tried for years to save some money from odd jobs which I have used to sponsor myself to attain an HONORS DIPLOMA in Information Technology(Software Technology) from NIIT-Kumasi Center, a private IT institution in my country Ghana. It was a one year program and I had EXCELLENT grades. I want to upgrade myself to a bachelors degree in IT so I took last years'(2007)university entrance examination as a private candidate. I am poor so I could not afford the books that I needed to study for the exams. But in all the six subjects that I wrote, I failed in only one. My interest is in IT though the exams does not make room for IT subjects specifically, I want to further my education through distant learning universities who offer online degree programs. BUT I cannot afford it. I have even enquired from LVMT Business School in London who have accepted to admit me provided I can pay my fees for the yearly fees of 2,850.00 British Pounds BUT I cannot afford it so I am pleading to be sponsored on an online degree program in IT. I need this education.

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