Don't be naïve; Facebook Hoaxes abound
Fun with Facebook frauds!
C'mon now, you don't really believe all the ridiculous stories, pictures, warnings, announcements and all the plethora of juicy stories made to create traffic, and in some cases, money....do you? Alright, I'll admit, I have little tolerance for the naïve. Call it a character flaw, but I just want slap every single person "sharing" that picture of the battered little girl, supposedly beaten by her father, with accompanying poem claiming she also died. And I want to slap them hard. That being said, I try to be objective. Some things look and sound more plausible than others. Unfortunately, it's all fake. Yes, I hate to burst your beguiled bubble, but the fact is "viral" on Facebook, usually mean "hoax".
No, YOU prove it! See, between photoshop, the phenomenon of "viral", and people becoming better liars everyday, things might seem plausible. But, it's just not real. Like let's talk about the aforementioned fake "beaten baby" photo and poem. That child in the photo was not beaten. No, she was not. That is a photo of a little girl named Jade, that was taken after she was brutally attacked by a dog. Yep, that's right! And the photo was being used without the parents permission, which is why I'm not going to add it here, but you know darn well which one I'm talking about.
"But it still put a very real problem in our society in the forefront", you say. No, no it didn't. It simply perpetuates the all too common phenomenon where people think it's ok to use other peoples photos, for whatever they see fit. That little girl, was not beaten. So what it's really doing, is taking a very real child, and forever associating her with child abuse. You don't think that child is going to go to school and have people thinking she was beaten? That's not fair. And "reposting" this to your page, doesn't help a wit to discourage child abuse.
Or how about the unbelievably ridiculous; "Facebook Privacy Notice" hoax. Where you must copy, paste and post this long, droll, and stupid paragraph, long enough where I'm not going to paste it here, saying that by posting it, you are effectively giving notice that no one, and no entity, has permission to use your photos and information. Really?! You really have that little knowledge of the internet to think that; A-you posting some legal-ish garbeldygook is going to keep anyone or anything, from using any of your info or pictures? And B-that anyone even wants to steal your picture of you and your friend making duck-face pouty lips on some drunken night, for their own use? And even if they did, I've got news for ya sweetheart; they're gonna do whatever they please, and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it.
Or, the more recent one about the "profile clones", where people are stealing your profile photos and creating new accounts under your name and sending requests to your friends in droves. Oh no! Better put a status update letting everyone on your friends list know that they should NOT accept a friends request from someone using your name! Well, of course this is yet another massive hysteria hoax. "Cloning", as it's called, isn't new. People have done that. Taken someones pictures, made a fake account under their name. The problem is, it happens to one of every one million people, almost always done by and ex-boyfriend/girlfriend or someone else with an axe to grind against said person. Believe me, there's no subset of people out there, desperately and painstakingly scouring Facebook taking peoples pictures and opening up new accounts in their names. Why would there be? What the hell would be the benefit of that to these ruthless "identity-stealers"?! NOTHING. It's not true. Don't bother wasting your precious time blathering on about it in a status update. It just makes you look undeniably naive.
I got you're money,honey!
"If you click "like", Facebook will donate $1 to a baby with cancer"! "Share this posting, and Mark Zuckerberg will donate $2 to a woman who was beaten by her husband"! Sure, because donating,(which by definition, is the giving of money or time to a person or cause, without a physical gain to the donator) will only be done based upon something as base as the number of "likes", or "shares" on a social networking site. No, companies and people like Mark who have the funds to help out a medium size third-world country, do their donating based upon their want to help someone or some cause. NOT because you "shared" a posting on your page.
Harmless? Maybe. Or maybe not. Those who buy into such viral hoaxes, may actually feel as though they are doing something positive for "the cause", or for a person in need. But the reality is, they are, in many cases, lining the pockets of those who get the traffic on their pages or sites, through the vulnerabilities of those who just genuinely want to help, and think they are.
But ooh that ticks me off!!!
That picture of the man throwing the Basset Hound.....fake. The picture of the dog supposedly being force-fed Vodka......untrue. That mysterious all black Lion...clever photo manipulation. That picture of the Labradoodle sitting celebrating his birthday with those eerie, human-looking eyes....please. The photo of the 83 lb. cat.....nope. The photo of Bush Jr. and Bush Sr., fishing in New Orleans during the flood......really now? C'mon, you really think these are real?
Those, and THOUSANDS of others, circulating all over Facebook. Some are just harmless fakes like the Lion and the dog with human eyes (just a measure of the gullibility of people), while others are made to incite anger and disgust. A lot of time it's animal abuse related. The second most common "piss-you-off" photos; politically related ones. Folks, put your seething anger towards something worthwhile, and real......like those darn twist ties on bread bags that trick you into twisting the wrong way (you know it happens to you). Because the reality is, these photos are all fakes. That's the truth. But let's even go a step further and pretend they were real. Do you really think that re-posting the photo of the cat that supposedly weighs more than Michael Moore, is really going to send any message about cruelty to animals at all? If you post a photo of a Basset Hound flying through the air, with a man behind him with outstretched arms, then you will be a part of ending cruelty to animals? Sure.
No need to get your panties in a knot
So, in conclusion, lets be sure to step back and consider the source when something pops up telling you to "like" this if you are really against child abuse, or you see that picture circulating of the dog being force-fed a bottle of gin. Remember that no matter who says it, or how many people say it, there isn't some sinister group of people putting anthrax in your Tide detergent. No one found mold in their Capri Sun. Facebook isn't going to be charging you to have an account, and 98% of viral pictures,postings,rants,videos and anything else that floats through the virtual social universe...is just not real. Not true. Photoshopped. Misrepresented. Outright lies meant to dupe the naïve out of money. Sorry, I hate to burst your bubble. No I don't....I enjoy it.
So no need to get upset and swear at your computer screen, iphone, ipad, tablet or what ever else you use to log onto Facebook. That child wasn't really beaten, that dog wasn't thrown, and you can go back to buying Tide again. (Though the nude pictures of Obama's mother floating around,are totally real, I promise)