Facebook has started to act as a sharing trap where we see different companies and brands promoting their products. Eventually, we are forced to like these pages due to their targeted marketing strategies. Besides these companies, many harmless photos are appearing on main screen of Facebook that attract sympathies of common man. This sharing trap, in other words, called as like-farming is extremely dangerous.
Like-farming is a scam. How? You see many magical photos on facebook that tell you to type some word in their comment and see what happens. Sorry to say but nothing changes at all. The main target of these scammers is to make most audience fall for the scam which then, spreads the fake magic to news-feeds everywhere, allowing your friends to be a part of this as well.
Now comes the main dilemma point, the heart touching photos posted by such pages have no reality. Children with Down Syndrome, wounded soldiers in Iraq, near to be extinguished animals that need likes to save them, many of this is fake and a form of like-farming.
A case was reported by CNN news. A child’s bald photo was being uploaded on facebook with a caption that she is suffering from cancer and needs maximum likes to save her life. Her parents were completely unaware of the fact when one of their well-wisher came across that photo and informed them. This really outraged them but it was of no use.
According to experts, scammers and spammers are using Facebook to make easy cash and they achieve their target by breaking the site’s rules, Once hundreds of thousands of likes are piled up, the page is stripped and something else is promoted, like products that they get a commission for selling. Or, the page creators may sell the page through black-market websites to those who do the same.
The loss of like-farming can be direct as well. Such pages may be used to spread malware; these are softwares that attack the user’s computer .Phishing is another threat i.e. gathering personal numbers, credit card numbers, passwords or other personal information through a contest show off. In such cases, liking such pages cannot spread the virus. But the usage of malicious Facebook apps, through external links that page owners may choose to share to their viewers. More personalized attacks can also be done depending on the usage of Facebook’s developer tools.
Despite Facebook’s untiring effort to maintain its quality, the only available solution is to think before sharing. Any such post can also be reported if it seems to gain traffic only based on its low quality.