You all know the drill. You get a new email pal. Maybe someone you met through the kids’ school or on vacation. Or maybe it’s a distant relative or a niece or nephew who is just discovering the Internet. And every day this person “discovers” a joke, plea for help, or hilarious video that they feel the need to share. You’ve already seen that joke. In fact, you saw it every time someone with your email address went through this phase in the past 15 years. What do you do?

I patiently wait for these friends to discover something else to do with their new computer. I guess that’s a fairly passive response. But I don’t think it’s an aggressive one. If they are forwarding a virus or dangerous scam, I might point that out. But, for the most part, I figure this is a new-computer phase will pass. It doesn’t take much time or energy to ignore and delete an email. And I figure if this person wanted me to answer they would have sent it only to me. (Note to people who only ever send mass emails. That’s why I don’t respond to those.)

But apparently some people get way upset about this. Upset enough to build a service—StopForwarding.Us—so that you can anonymously tell these people to stop already. I don’t want to sound too Pollyanna or anything but if you have so many friends forwarding you stuff that you have to outsource the brush off, maybe you are lucky? Isn’t there some saying about no one being poor who has friends?

On the other hand, maybe you are being harassed by someone who is NOT a friend and asking them to stop will only let them know they are getting to you? In that case, here’s the link.

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