Internet users know it: new technologies have brought new communication tools, which are fast, handy and cheap. With just couple of clicks, Internet users are able to send messages to several people at the same time. If we add the possibility of remaining anonymous, we are creating a wonderful scenario for spammers. Spammers are people who send “spam e-mails”, the ones you will certainly find in your electronic mailbox. You will recognise them easily: most of them try to make a product or service known, but also to deceive people in order to get, most of the times, their money -that is, to commit fraud-. Spammers concoct fake identities, non-existent people with false stories that appeal to receivers’ emotions and qualities or faults, such as empathy, mercy and greed. Our analysis suggests not only a parallelism between the re-production of gender stereotypes in both the new communication tools and the same stereotypes found in traditional fairy tales, but also a clear similarity between the use of fear in spam e-mails and fairy tales, depending on the gender identities the author has adopted. We will focus then on how fear connects spam and fairy tales, and how this parallelism and the gender stereotypes found in both kinds of texts can take part in the linguistic mechanisms used by spammers to make their stories believable. In order too present briefly how “fear” contributes to the construction of deception through the abovementioned narratives, we will take into account not only the linguistic and psychological elements used to cause real fears in their recipients, but also the fake and real fears their senders may have, adding examples to our findings. We will pay specific attention to the influence of gender stereotypes in these narratives, where the senders’ gender/ed identity was – or could have been – faked, and to the connection between them and fairy tales.
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