Anyone who uses social media or has used in the last year or two should be familiar with the 1 like 1 prayer images. Believe it or not these images are actually scams. Read on gentle viewer and I will explain it all.
How many times have you been browsing through your news feed seeing your friend’s photo posts with 74 hashtags, your friend with 96 filters #nofilter etc, your racist friend’s latest post of the southern cross and then a photo of a dying child with leukaemia or a sad looking puppy? You know the one, they’re always holding a sign saying something like, “I’m so ugly I bet I won’t get 1 like” or “I’m dying and have no parents 1 like = 1 prayer, 1 share = amen”. These photos are scams, slow boiling ones but scams none the less.
Ever notice how these same images have likes and shares dating back months or sometimes years? or sometimes they change the words on the sign using Photoshop? No? Most people don’t. so don’t feel silly.
Like this little guy. Look closely at his sign. Fucked if I know what is ever said because it’s been photo shopped. It’s easy enough to do, but what gives it away is the tone and shape of the characters they have been drawn with a mouse, you can’t hide that.
When we look at this image we just see a kid with cancer in hospital. We for some reason don’t think about much else. So we like it, if we don’t we feel like an arsehole somehow I guess it’s human nature.
These photo’s aren’t there to raise awareness of childhood cancer or ugly dogs. “The 1 like 1 share” phenomenon which is localized to Facebook has a simple goal; Generate likes and shares.
Why would anyone care about generating likes and shares they are not monetized, the images contain no advertising? Correct. The image itself is innocuous enough in isolation. So what these large fan base pages aim for is just that ‘a large fan base’ they need a small legion of followers seeing their posts popping up on their news feeds daily.
- I Love Jesus Forever. One of the larger like farms I find on my daily new feed.
Take the ‘I Love Jesus Forever’. This site is just a huge like farm, daily I find images popping up. They have a quarter of a million followers. They’re content consists of nothing but like-farming images and videos (videos are harder to reverse search) and no substance. Why would anyone spend time doing this?
Well this is where it gets interesting.
Ever notice, every now and then between pictures of dying children they will slip in a clickable link to a small test? or a survey?. People love surveys and tests, especially when they get a funny little picture to post of their wall like, what kind of Aquarius are you just let us know your age group and median income. This data is stored and collated and then sold to a third party marketing company.
In truth selling your data off to a third party is possibly the lesser of the many evils these pages can do with your data. Many like farms also subtly direct their members to various mal-ware and spy-ware ridden corners of the internet and then the consequences are worse.
These data collecting scams use a variety of guilt tactics to trigger us into clicking that like or share button. Just before writing this article one popped up and told me “If you hate animal abuse like and share, if you like animal abuse do nothing” I did nothing, not because I hate animals, but because none of us should be encouraging this practice on social media.
What I hope everyone takes away from this is you need to stop feeding these ‘like’ machines. They are modern day spam, they collect your data , sell it. They steer users towards harmful software like mal-ware, and we all know what can happen from some of the simplest mal-ware.
Don’t forget to like and share this story.