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Bogus MADD Petition

Outline
Email petition that claims to be sponsored by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) asks recipients to sign the message and send it to others.



Brief Analysis
MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is a real organization that does valuable work in the ongoing battle against drunk driving. However, MADD did not sponsor or endorse this petition in any way. "Signing" this bogus petition and sending it on to others is pointless. Email based petitions have no value.

Detailed analysis and references below example.
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Last updated: 6th December 2011
First published: 13th November 2004
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example:(Submitted August 2009)
Subject: WENT TO A PARTY, MOM. . .

* Please read all the way to the bottom and sign your name *

I went to a party,
And remembered what you said.
You told me not to drink, Mom
So I had a sprite instead.

I felt proud of myself,
The way you said I would,
That I didn't drink and drive,
Though some friends said I should.

I made a healthy choice,
And your advice to me was right,
The party finally ended,
And the kids drove out of sight.

I got into my car,
Sure to get home in one piece,
I never knew what was coming, Mom
Something I expected least.

Now I'm lying on the pavement,
And I hear the policeman say,
The kid that caused this wreck was drunk, Mom,
his voice seems far away.

My own blood's all around me,
As I try hard not to cry.
I can hear the paramedic say,
This girl is going to die.

I'm sure the guy had no idea,
While he was flying high,
Because he chose to drink and drive,
Now I would have to die.

So why do people do it, Mom
Knowing that it ruins lives?
And now the pain is cutting me,
Like a hundred stabbing knives.

Tell sister not to be afraid, Mom
Tell daddy to be brave,
And when I go to heaven,
"Daddy's Girl" is on my grave.
Someone should have taught him,
That it's wrong to drink and drive.
Maybe if his parents had,
I'd still be alive.

My breath is getting shorter, Mom
I'm getting really scared.
These are my final moments,
And I'm so unprepared.

I wish that you could hold me Mom,
As I lie here and die.
I wish that I could say, "I love you, Mom!"
So I love you and good-bye.

MADD IS HOPING TO GET 5,000 SIGNATURES ON THIS, THEN PASS IT ON TO PRESIDENT BUSH. PLEASE SIGN.

When the is petition has reached 5,000, please return it to:
MADD
[Contact details removed]

If you receive this petition and do nothing but delete it, your selfishness knows no bounds. Signing is such a small effort to make.. After you have read the poem, please add your name at the bottom. And never forget, DON'T EVER DRINK AND DRIVE , not even once, thinking that it won't matter. IT DEFINITELY WILL MATTER!!!

How to set it up:
* Click on Forward
* SIGN YOUR NAME AT THE BOTTOM.
* Then send it to everyone you know

THE NAMES:

[OVER 2000 NAMES REMOVED]




Detailed Analysis
Although the underlying message contained in this email petition is important, the petition itself is bogus. MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is a real organization that does valuable work in the ongoing battle against drunk driving and its often horrific consequences.

©iStockphoto.com/Jorge Gonzalez

Drink Drive
The "Went to a party, mom" anti-drunk driving petition is NOT sponsored by MADD as claimed in the message
However, MADD did not sponsor or endorse this petition. "Signing" this bogus petition and sending it on to others is pointless and will do nothing more than waste bandwidth and clutter inboxes. In fact, email-based petitions are virtually worthless because politicians or anyone else in authority will not take them seriously. Often the long list of names on these petitions will never even arrive at their intended destination. Besides, a determined individual could easily falsify the "results" of an email petition by adding hundreds or thousands of names. These names might be real and used without permission or simply made up. In a typical email petition, there is no viable way of checking the validity of names on the list. Thus, the validity of an email petition is highly questionable even if it was actually launched by a real organization rather than a desktop activist with an axe to grind.

MADD has denied any involvement with this petition via the FAQ section of its website. The site notes:
The petition circulating via e-mail accompanied with the poem titled "I Went to a Party Mom" did not originate with nor is it endorsed by MADD.

While the petition you received probably began with good intentions, MADD did not initiate the campaign. Some variations of the e-mail use language that we feel to be inappropriate. Moreover, the e-mail asks you to participate in a petition, which does little to advance the fight against drunk driving.
Those who sign and send this petition show that they are caring people who would like to help in the fight against drunk driving. However, signing the petition is a waste of time. A much more valuable contribution would be to become actively involved with MADD or another anti-drunk driving organization.

You can find out more about MADD via the organization's website.

It is unclear who actually wrote the poem included in the above petition. The poem has circulated - both as part of the above MADD petition and as a standalone piece - for at least a decade.

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References
Are Email Petitions Useful?
MADD FAQ
MADD Home

Last updated: 6th December 2011
First published: 13th November 2004
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer