I am fascinated by how we know, learn and propagate information into the icy aging of our future.  This week I had a flood of email in my Facebook Inbox — from only my friends in Germany — suggesting the social networking service was running out of server space. 

My friends were duped by someone and instead of allowing their great
intellect and education lead them to deleting the message, they
forwarded it on instead.

Here is a copy of the email I received over and over again.  The translation is part of their original message:

Facebook ist seit kurzem zu sehr überbevölkert, es gibt viele Mitglieder die darüber klagen, dass Facebook sehr langsam ist. Die Daten zeigen als Grund an, dass zu viele nicht-aktive Mitglieder auf der einen und viele neue Facebook-Mitglieder auf der anderen Seite sind.

Wir senden diese Nachricht, um zu sehen, wer die Mitglieder sind, die aktiv sind und wer nicht. Wenn Sie aktiv sind, schicken Sie bitte diese Nachricht an mindestens 15 andere Nutzer (copy + paste), um zu zeigen, dass Sie noch aktiv sind. * Diejenigen, die diese Nachricht nicht versenden, werden innerhalb von 2 Wochen entfernt, ohne zu zögern, um mehr Platz zu schaffen .*

Senden Sie diese Nachricht an alle ihre Freunde, um mir zu zeigen, dass Sie noch aktiv sind, und Sie werden nicht entfernt.

Gründer von Facebook,
Mark Zuckerberg


Facebook is too much overcrowded recently, there are many members them about the fact sue that Facebook is very slow. The dates register as a reason that too many non-active members on that one and many new Facebook members on the other side are.

We send this news to see who the members are who are active and who not. If you are active, send please this news to at least 15 other users (copy + paste) to show that you are still active. * those which do not send this news are removed within 2 weeks without hesitating to create more place.*

Send this news to all her friends to show me that you are still active, and you are not removed.

Founder of Facebook,
Mark Zuckerberg

We all know Facebook isn’t running out of room — so what makes someone smart and cunning fall for a scheme like this? 

The intention of the forwarder, it seems, is righteous — and when they learn they’re actually a Spammer-in-Situ — they are apoplectic and apologetic.

Do some people just believe, by default and not reason, that if there is bad news to share — it must be shared! — even if, on a second glance, the news is irrational and illogical?

Are those people driven by a false sense of a protector’s role or are they genuine in their concern to not cry wolf?


  1. This sort of message went around my friends a couple of years ago. I giggled and hit delete. Every few months my mother or father sends me a virus alert (that now invariably will assert that it was “Verified on Snopes!” even though it was not) and I always check up and it is always a hoax. People want to be on the forefront of bringing news even if that means passing along junque like this. 🙂

  2. It’s fascinating how these memes are cyclical. Smart people get ensnared in “doing the right thing” that turns out to be just the wrong thing. The original Spammer is certainly clever and cunning.

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