A chain letter is a message in which the writer of the chain letter tries to convince the recipient to make as many copies of the original letter as humanly possible. These authors use several methods in order to achieve this goal. This may extend to crafted stories that leave an emotional impact on the reader, get-rich quick schemes, or outright supernatural themes. Some authors of the original chain letter even outright threaten the reader with physical harm if they don't do as the letter says or if they ever "broke the chain." Chain letters originally started out as letters that a random person would receive in the mail, but this concept eventually evolved into email messages or postings on social networks.

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