Have you ever received a message claiming that if you didn't forward it to everyone on your ICQ list you would: 1) Be charged for using ICQ, 2) Have your ICQ account terminated or 3) Have your computer reduced to a smoldering heap of liquid silicon? Chances are if you've been using ICQ you either have or will receive such messages. What will happen if you brazenly disregard the dire warning and refuse to forward the message? The answer is: nothing. They are all hoaxes... false rumors intended to spread panic and make you appear gullible when you pass them to your friends. To put it another way, they are "information viruses" that infect common sense and lead otherwise sensible people believe even the most incredible claims circulating in cyberspace.

The purpose of this site is to combat disinformation with the most powerful weapon of all: the truth. Here you will find archives of past and current rumors, tips for protecting yourself from malicious attacks, thoughts about the future of Mirabilis and links to other resources. In addition to providing you with some useful information, I also hope to entertain you as we turn the tables on the pranksters who start these false rumors. So, if you are ready to put your fears to rest, become a more responsible Netizen and have a few laughs, join me for a look at Lies, Damn Lies and ICQ Messages.

The ICQ Lies Collection
Here they are, the largest and oldest collection of ICQ rumors on the net. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wonder how anyone could believe this stuff. So sit back, get comfortable and enter the world of evil viruses, false claims of charging, clean-ups and conspiracies. I can promise you this, after reading these pages you'll think twice before hitting that forward button again (to the great relief of all your friends).

AOL/ICQ Acquisition Revisited
On June 8, 1998, America Online purchased Mirabilis, causing an uproar in the ICQ community. Mirabilis's forum was besieged by angry and worried ICQers fearing imminent charges, spam and the death of ICQ. This is a look back on the first seven months after AOL's purchase and some predictions for the future.

The ICQ Community Survey
Take the online survey and then find out how other ICQers use the world's most popular Internet pager. Twelve questions covering usage, forwarded messages, number of contacts and opinions about paying for ICQ. After taking the survey pass it on to your friends so they can join in.

The Original ICQ Lies Pages
This is where it all began. After months of receiving rumors about impending charges, getting kicked off of ICQ and lists of alleged hackers, I collected some of the most common rumors and created a page to enlighten my friends about the truth behind the myths. This section is being kept mainly for archival purposes and to prevent broken links. Most of what's contained here can be found in the new ICQ Lies Collection.

The Top Ten Rumor List
Don't have time to read through all the rumors? No problem, here are ten of the most common. Note that while many of the rumors listed on this page appear elsewhere on the site, the commentary after each rumor is unique to this page.

ICQ Lies Search Engine
You can now search for any rumor by typing a few keywords and pressing enter. For example, if you get a message saying Mirabilis is going to start charging, enter "charging" and see what comes-up, then click the link to see the full message and comments. For more search tips click here.

ICQ Hazards & Safeguards
Don't be a victim, arm yourself with knowledge. No one can send you a virus or hack into your computer unless you leave the door open. Find out what the risks are and how to protect yourself. ICQ is just like any other power tool, it is safe as long as you use it properly and don't expose yourself to unnecessary risks.

The Importance of File Extensions
There has been a long running debate over what types of files can or cannot carry a virus or other trojan. Can opening an e-mail infect your computer? What about JPG photos? With the abundance of file types in use and changes in the way applications respond to these files, the answer has become clouded. This article will attempt to explain how to identify the common "safe" and possibly not-so-safe file types and give a few examples of how viruses can be disguised as apparently harmless files.

AOL/ICQ Acquisition
In case you haven't heard, on June 8, 1998, America Online purchased Mirabilis, the developers of ICQ, setting off a firestorm of dire predictions for the future of ICQ under the ownership of AOL. This article was written shortly after the purchase to calm some of the fears and rumors being spread at that time.

E-Mail Hoaxes
I decided to branch out and cover a few of my *ahem* "favorite" e-mail hoaxes. Is Brother Bill going to send you a $1,000? Are your kidneys safe? Does Walt Disney have a son? Click the above link and find out.

My Best Friend
Tired of receiving those "friendship" page URLs that have been popping-up everywhere? Personally, I would rather just receive a brief note saying "Hello, my friend!" than a hundred of those impersonal URLs, and this page is my answer. Surf on over to My Best Friend and see for yourself. But remember... it is just a joke, so be sure to take your sense of humor with you.

One final note: the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. My only association with Mirabilis are the links they so kindly placed on their site to this page. Technical questions regarding the ICQ program or network should be directed to Mirabilis Tech Support. I'm just a user of the ICQ network and have no inside information about Mirabilis beyond what they publicly post on their web site.

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Thomas Robert Pasawicz aka DiamondBack
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