Sunday, October 6, 2013

Facebook 'LIKES' won't save lives

rculate of sick children claiming to offer donations for liking or sharing the photo
Facebook Like or Share Hoax

Facebook is exploited by all sorts of spammers but it is perhaps the photos that circulate of sick children claiming to offer donations for liking or sharing the photo that are among the worst. Facebook is never going to donate to some cause based on how many times you share or like a picture or status. If you’re a regular user then you've probably seen these photos that depict injured, disadvantaged or disabled children along with a message that asserts sharing or liking the photo results in either prayers or donations for the child. Have you ever clicked 'like' on a picture of a sick or disabled child on Facebook? Sometimes there's a caption that reads "for every like, Facebook will donate money to save this child", or "please like this photo to show this child that they're beautiful." Have you clicked? 

These photos are never genuine. No entity including Facebook condition donations of any kind on the number of Likes or Shares a photo gets, at least not in this manner. But it is important to scratch past the surface of this hoax and then ask if they’re not real then why do they exist? And the widely unknown answer to that question shows exactly how these unscrupulous scams work and highlights the extent as to how depraved scammers will go to make money. It also shows why you should never share or like these photos, even if it’s “just in case they’re true”. It is first important to realize that the vast majority of these scams exploit photos that have been taken elsewhere from the Internet and used without the permission of anyone related to the photo including the families of the children depicted. Such photos are taken from news websites, stolen from public Facebook photo albums and some have been known to be taken from medical journal websites. This in itself is deplorable since it causes much anguish for the families involved to see photos of their loved ones circulating Facebook under false pretenses. In most cases the photos are old and outdated, and in at least one example the photo shows a child that had since passed away.
However it gets worse when you realize that these photos are often used to make scammers money. Scammers create Facebook pages and post consistent streams of content imploring users to like and share in order to accumulate followers. When the number of followers reaches a certain number then the Facebook Page can either be sold for financial gain or any number of other scams can be employed on the followers, such as survey scams or malware attacks. It is also worth noting that these scams promote “slacktivism” – the illusion you are helping a cause merely by pressing Like or Share when in reality this has no real world significance or benefits towards helping with an issue.

rculate of sick children claiming to offer donations for liking or sharing the photo
Facebook Hoax

 If Facebook were to ever donate money for a young boy's surgery, think for just a moment - would they really be so crass as to base it upon the number of times a message was shared? Further clues that should tell you that the story is bogus, is that there is no information to support the story of a young boy being attacked or the pay-per-share scheme. There's no link to an official Facebook blog entry, no link to a news story on a legitimate news outlet. If a friend of yours shares a message with you like this on Facebook remind them about the importance of not spreading chain letters and suggest that they inform all of their friends that they were mistaken.

To date, no hospital, charity, organization or Facebook have ever conditioned lifesaving operations, medicine or donations based on the number of times a photo, message or email is shared. Any photo or message to the contrary is just a sick hoax, either designed to waste the recipients time or scam their out of money. If you see such photos then we recommend doing the following -

1. Never Share or Like these photos. If you do you are playing right into the hoaxers hands and potentially causing great distress to the families involved, and of course you’re passing false information to all of your Facebook friends.

2. Avoid commenting on the photos. Even if you know the photo is a hoax a comment can make the post appear on the tickers of your Facebook friends and can help spread the photo.

3. Instead of a comment you can send a private message to the person who uploaded the photo and explain it is a sick hoax and ask them to remove it.

4. Report the photo. Many people who upload these photos will never take then down voluntarily, so Facebook will do it for you. Make Facebook aware of the photo by clicking the Report option

1 comment:

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