ED#151 : The Price Of That Like Or Share On Facebook
I have tried to explain this to several people. I think most people need to wake up to this fact of how we sometimes unknowingly become a zombie to Shares and Likes. Bear with me on this rant, but you'll most probably learn something new here today. But before I begin, I'd like to ask the general public who read this some questions :
Do you still login to your first e-mail account? No? Why? Oh, they're full of spam?
Do you like spam? Do you like the feeling of flooded with so many e-mails, you have to sift through to find out what's useful and real? Do you like ads being sent to you for no apparent reason, because they can? Do you like SMSes filling your mobile phone for no apparent reason?
- Do you want Facebook to become like that? Do we want to create a new account every 5-6 months because it's so helplessly flooded?
I think most Internet users would have realized by now that spam is an unavoidable part of e-mails. Spam is a form of advertising - it's like TV ads, except that in the dotcom boom (in the 1990s), a bunch of people realized, "Heck, this is free!!" All you need is a bunch of e-mail addresses and you can start selling these 'ad-spaces' to a third-party company. So there you go - that's how your first e-mail account got flooded with Viagra ads you did not subscribe to.
But how did they get my address? I never gave it to anyone!
Oh, these guys have a lot of ways to get your e-mail address. Ways you cannot imagine, but that's a story for another day. I'll share you some sneaky ones. You know that e-mail with little health tips you forward around? And after a while, your aunty's cousin's son's neighbour forwards it? Guess what - that e-mail has your e-mail address and everybody else's e-mail address in it everytime someone forwards it without deleting the original sender's e-mail address. That's one example of free information floating on the internet.
In short, realize this. Whenever there is a circle of network, spammers want to utilize that. Facebook is a face of the 'network' today. So back to Facebook..
If you are not aware of these facts, realize that there is actually a market out there that trades Shares, Likes and fan pages. I'm not sure if you have noticed that there are a lot of fan pages with senseless names popping up in the last few years. I did, and I find it absurd that there are fan pages with such names :
- Puberty is going to hit Justin Bieber harder than Chris Brown hit Rhianna
- Microsoft Word Will Never Understand That My Name is NOT a Spelling Mistake
- Realizing you borrowed the pen you're sticking in your mouth
- On a scale of 1 to Osama Bin Ladin how good was my hiding spot??
Yes, those are names of actual pages. There are hundreds, if not thousands of them. Those are not status updates. They're Facebook page names. And these weird pages also like other weird pages.
Today, these Shares, Likes and pages are being traded on the Internet. You can buy Shares and Likes in bulk from websites like www.buyfbservices.com. So what's this got to do with you? Well, another well-known activity by these traders involve selling pages. This method has higher returns because Facebook is trying to clamp down on fake Likes at the moment. Selling pages seem to be a better bet.
Here's how it's done. A dummy page is created, and then they use whatever ways possible to garner Likes and Shares. When the page reaches a certain popularity ranking, they sell it. You can easily find posts like these offering to buy pages:
How Do They Get Your Likes / Shares / Comments?
After reading this, you'll realize how sneaky some people can get...
The Classic '1 SHARE 1 Cent' Scam
SHARE/LIKE THIS!!! FB WILL PAY 1 CENT FOR EVERY SHARE!!!
It's amazing that in this day and age so many people still believe in this. Facebook will not pay the malnourished African kid anything no matter how many Shares / Likes the post gets! No matter how much money they have. Neither will Bill Gates. The only one earning 1 cent for each share are these people trading pages.
Motivational Poster / Cute cats / Health Advice
I have nothing against this, but if you are reposting 20 of these posts every hour, you're an annoyance. If you're in my feed, I will block you. I'm not sure about other people but I think that we, as a society, have begun to lower our standards to what is actually interesting.
Like and comment '4' and see what happens
Nothing happens, of course. EXCEPT that it will now appear on your friends' news feeds that you have liked/commented in this picture. Why? That's because this post has high popularity - lots of people commenting. This is a fairly new trade that popped up no more than 1 or 2 years ago.
I always wondered what's the purpose of such trolling (as some might call it), but these guys are not just trolling. Amazingly, many people still fall for it. It is impossible to make the picture respond or change according to what is being commented. Yet a simple post like that ends up having 50,000 comments. For example, http://www.troyhunt.com/2013/02/facebook-fantasies-press-like-and-type.html
A short quiz : 1+1+1+1+1+1 X 0+1 = ??
Oh, you thought that's just a quiz? It's an extension of the trick above! It makes you comment on the box.
LIKE/SHARE this post. Samsung is giving away 1000 Free S4
This is the latest trick up their sleeves. A fake Apple / Samsung / Microsoft page is created. A HUGE bunch of people fell for these. They did this for iPhone 5, Nokia Lumia, Playstation 4, and now the Samsung Galaxy S4. A way to check if the giveaway is genuine is to visit the official page. Most of these bogus pages were created very recently - anywhere from a few days ago to about a month ago.
These guys will come out with more creative ways to trick you into liking and sharing and commenting on their Facebook pages. Basically, they want your likes, shares, fans, comments and most importantly YOUR network. These scams will continue because there are money to be made.
I don't know about you guys but I intend to cut short this spam culture. I am puzzled why people still forward / share and basically do things that makes no sense. To put it bluntly, we have become a zombie for spam marketers. Soon, our newsfeed will be full of unwanted shares, just like our very first e-mail account.
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