Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Facebook hoaxes

I remember, all those many years ago, when you'd get chain letters by email. Remember them? "If you don't send this on at least 10 people then bad things will happen". Yeah, whatever.

Invariably they'd come from your closest friends, family or work colleagues. And so you'd believe them, and duly send it on (or wait for calamity to strike).

Well things moved in the world of email. We now get the fake Gap vouchers and so on.

Meanwhile, back in the world of social networking, we're once again seeing the gullible make tits of themselves. My personal favorite is the "what's wrong here.... AAA BBB..." post that appears in Funwall in Facebook. Apparently you can see the answer if you click on "fast forward" to your friends. Hmmm. Hello, is that faint tinkly noise the sound of alarm bells?? Apparently not for thousands of poor trusting, curious, souls who did just that, and send the posting (sans answer) to all their mates, who in turn sent it to theirs and so on and so.

This for me highlights a couple of the major problems that are inherent in social media:

1. You trust your friends. Human nature to trust people that you know, but that doesn't mean they're right.
2. You don't check. A quick Google would have found the answer to this particular problem (oh, and btw the answer to our AAA BBB poser revolves around the phrases "found it impossible" and "80% couldn't find it". Go work it out, or Google yourselves).

We now have a medium where unqualified people are being trusted. Unreservedly. And that isn't healthy.

Now, send this post on to 10 of your closest friends and good things will happen. If you don't, then let the suffering of baby kittens be on your conscience.

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