Wednesday, January 16, 2013

One Million Facebook Likes SCAM

You see new ones daily. Scams that plead with you to make their personal cause go viral. Frequently they guilt trip you. 

"If you hate cancer, click Like and Share this on your own wall. If you are apathetic, keep on scrolling." 

Often they set a goal of how many Likes and Shares will make something happen. 

"If my sister and I get one million likes, our dad will get us a puppy." 

"If I get one million likes, my wife will stop cheating on me with my best friend." 

Or they will tell you to click Like, Share the post to your own wall, and type in the number 3, and watch the image change in a hilarious way. You obey. The image does not change. You've been scammed again. 

It seems so innocent. How could this be a scam? It's a good cause. The kids who want a puppy are so cute. How dare anybody wreck the fun? Why be so critical? 

I'll tell you why: it's all about gaming the Facebook Edgerank algorithm. Spammers are tugging on your heartstrings to trick you into clicking Like and Share, so they spread their message. 

It's not that the message is necessarily wrong or evil. It's the fact that they are using these messages and images to boost their own popularity and thereby have more people to spam or hit with rogue apps that could cause great harm to you. 

Edgerank. The mysterious formula that Facebook uses to value a status update and the profile from which it originated. The better your Edgerank score, the more Facebook will push your wall posts, the more people will see your posts in their news feed. 

This is the secret behind these seemingly innocent and benevolent posts. 

"I'm sure most of you will just keep scrolling and ignore this. But those who love kids with autism, please click Like and Share this to your wall, to show your support." There's a photo of an allegedly autistic child. How could you not click Like and Share? 

"I'm doing an experiment to see who reads my posts and really cares about what I have to say. If you are a real friend, click like, write a one word comment on how we met, then post this message on your own wall for one hour." 

Now, some people copy and paste these messages, thinking they're a good idea, and there's no harm in it. They really do love autistic kids, hate cancer, and want to know who is enjoying their FB posts. 

But they are unknowingly using a spam technique, and they are also perpetrating the acceptance of such messages by bad people who are spamming, distributing malware, pushing rogue apps, committing identity theft, etc. 

STOP falling for this. STOP clicking Like and Share on these posts. STOP copying and pasting these messages. Even though you have good intentions, you are playing into the hands of spammers and other malicious schemes.


Daylan Does "Facebook Like Scams

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