Another day, another Facebook hoax that you’re helping to spread like wildfire because you don’t take a second to read it and realize how ridiculous it is.
When a friend reminded me of this earlier today, one friend had shared it. Now, 2 hours later, we’re up to three.
No matter how many blog posts or columns I write, the same people do it over and over. And then others do it. And I wonder why I bother but the reason is simple: I’m a social media manager in my professional life and a social media guy all the time. I feel bad when people are duped, but I truly have little sympathy for people who blindly push the share button without reading what they are sharing. I understand we live in a world where the terms of service take up more pages than War And Peace, but there’s really no excuse. You owe it to your friends because when you share, people trust you and are likely to share. So as you can see you are actually the problem.
Whether it helps or not, I’m going to tear this thing apart and explain the red flags piece by piece. If you had read it this would be painfully obvious.
• THANK YOU, MARK ZUCKERBERG: All caps. Always, always, ALWAYS BE SUSPICIOUS OF ALL CAPS!
• 6 exclamation points in this short block of text. Only 3 people use this many exclamation points: Elaine Benes on Seinfeld, people with careers in marketing and scammers. (My apologies to the marketing industry, but you know it’s true.)
• “All you have to do is” … That’s never a good sign. It’s never that easy to win millions of dollars.
• Copy and paste this message. The world stopped doing that in 2010 when the share button was invented. We don’t — we shouldn’t — copy and paste anymore.
• So why doesn’t the scammer write “share”? Because sharing puts it in Facebook’s algorithm and it will be obvious sooner that this is a hoax. Copy and paste doesn’t sound alarms as fast. In this case, scammers are the smart ones.
• IMMEDIATELY: First off, all caps. Second, if Facebook is going to search for winners every day at midnight, why does IMMEDIATELY matter? It doesn’t. This is the same as when you watch an infomercial that was taped 2 years ago and it says “call in the next 30 minutes for a special gift.” The gift isn’t special … Everyone gets it … And it doesn’t matter if you call in 30 minutes or 3,000.
•Tag 5-10 of your friends. Think for a second how fast this spreads if 5 people share it with 5 to 10 people. Then lower your head as you realize the role you played in that.
• At midnight PST, Facebook will search through the day’s posts and award 1,000 people with $4.5 million each. LOL!!! Where do I even begin? How about with this: How many people do you think are working at Facebook at midnight? Not enough to search through the day’s posts … Also … You think they are going to search and choose a winner from billions of posts? Seriously?????
• I hope someone I know gets a piece of the pie–let me know if you do: Oh yeah. Someone who magically wins $4.5 million is going to tell you about it.
All those red flags, and you know what? Some scams actually have even more red flags. So while this is bad, there’s worse.
Truly, there’s no one reading this who should fall for this crap. And that’s with or without this blog post.
So please. Do me a huge favor and stop sharing the scam and share the bejeezus out of this post — share, don’t copy and paste — so people get the message. I’ll pick 1,000 of my favorite shares and award you …
Nothing except my sincerest gratitude. I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.
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