Blast E-Mail Warnings Under a Microscope

The blast e-mails like this one warning friends and neighbors about suspicious activity in the area can be a good thing. But the practice is on the rise. It’s a super fast way to spread word on potentially harmful situations that could impact our community, but where we do we draw the line? Is it always better to be safe than sorry? Are there unwritten rules of responsiblity for shooting out concerns to your contact list? Should there be?

There were an alarming number of new blast e-mails circulating last week, one passed along information about an attempted child abduction but the police had no record of such an event.

When should the warnings go viral and when are they counterproductive? Or even worse?

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10 thoughts on “Blast E-Mail Warnings Under a Microscope

  • February 16, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    100 – (# mentions “children” or derivatives thereof) – (# exclamation points) – (every missed space between words) + (10 if i know you, 5 if i’ve heard of you) = relevance grade.

    I don’t want to receive anything that scores below 90.

  • February 16, 2010 at 1:10 pm


    Also MSM doesnt like to report on crimes in concert with DPD who changes the stats so Big D can look “better” to the outside world
    even the FBI denounced DPD new methodology

    DMN didnt report on NP criminal activity especially at the end of Jan with at least 3 known holdups

    DMN doesnt report the 2 realtors who were robbed at gunpoint

    if you follow the news, you know what I am talking about

    eblasts from citizens will be challanged by those who want to keep a tight reing on info/their jobs BUT THEY WILL CLEVERLY ( but not so) pick on the eblasts and citizen empowerment by pointing out when some HONEST mistakes occur

    So what!!
    The powers that be commit so many mistakes, honest or otherwise and they’re still in business

    Power to the people

  • February 16, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I second matt.

    And really, if you strip all the subjective crap (weird! creepy! strange! shock of my life! horrible feeling!) out of a note and there’s nothing left but “I saw a man wearing a glove — in a park”, then there’s objectively nothing of substance to forward or post.

    Particularly if the note includes something like “do not hesitate for 1 minute to call 911 if you suspect anything strange, ever”. That is the dumbest bit of emergency advice I’ve ever heard.

  • February 16, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    matt & Matt, I concur.

  • February 16, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    @matt- that was beautiful. it fits so many situations. do you mind if i refer to it frequently?

  • February 16, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Wow, rock on Matts…agree with it all, including the video.

  • February 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm


    Patent that formula ASAP.

  • February 16, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Merritt my muse, refer away…the clip has served me well.

  • February 20, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    @matt: that was the single funniest response ever on this blog. I award you the acadamy award of bloggers.


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