Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Honour System Virus

On June 9, 2000 my friend and colleague Aaron Kotcheff posted the
following joke to our local "funny" newsgroup.

The joke

Honor System Virus:

This virus works on the honor system.

Please delete all the files on your hard disk, then forward this
message to everyone you know.

Thank you for your cooperation.

What we're doing

It's great isn't it? But besides being great, I noticed it was new! It is short enough that it is not just a derivative of another joke. The subject matter (computer viruses) is new enough that it must have been written in the previous 20 years or so. So the person who invented it is probably still alive. So I decided to try and find the person who actually invented a new joke. If you passed it along, and get an email requesting you to say who sent it to you, please carry the chain on. The chain will always be displayed here.

If you want your email address left off, fine. If you want your name
left off, fine. Even if you want your country left off, fine. Just please
don't stop us finding this out.

The chain so far, backwards

Thanks so much to everyone below who has helped so far.

Nick Fortescue9 June
Aaron Kotcheff9 June 2000England
David Bonas 8 June 2000
Martha Mazon 8 June
Diana Monterola8 June 2000USA
Renee C TylerUSA
Deb MedelUSA
Ed StokesUSA
Greg BruceUSA
Steve Groth?USA

Stop Press! We've found it. See this For details. Or read on.

We've found the source!We've found the (or a) source of the joke. For more details see here. But please don't let this stop you helping us trace the chain back. It will be really interesting to see how it got from the source to me. And it shouldn't be too long, as it was first posted on May 5 2000, and I received it on June 9, 2000.

Other sightings
These are other early sightings of variants. We are tracing their chain back too, including this post on Deja news which led to us finding the record of rec.humor.funny post
May 16 2000, Dr Billy Newsletter
May 25 2000, GCS tasteless joke board

To contact us, or send us information about early sightings please email:

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