Friday, 12 August 2016

Facecrooks fight Facebook like farming

Who knew that there was a Facebook watchdog?

Well, there is, and it is called Facecrooks. They look out for Facebook posts containing known scams, clickbait and "like farming" which leaves the ordinary punter vulnerable.

In general, they are flagging those emotional posts which tug at our hearts. Those posts about young children with cancer, siblings who are looking for their long-lost brother, the click "Like" to beat ISIS, and all the other saccharin-sweet memes and images which get circulated.

All your likes get aggregated onto the post page. Then the person who has created the page strips out the original information and reposts something else, which you appear to have personally endorsed, and passed on to your entire network.

Not all posts may be directly harmful to you. Some may use graphics stolen from other sites, to build an image that may be more about the poster's self-esteem

Some may simply provide Facebook with more information so that Fb can better target their ads at you. If you want to know how much Fb knows about you, Facecrooks tells you how: "go to your Facebook News Feed and look for an ad to come up in the stream. Then click the arrow icon in the upper-right-hand corner of the ad and select “Why am I seeing this?” That will take you to the Ad Preferences page, where you can tell Facebook to stop showing you content from specific advertisers. You can also dive deeper by clicking 'Manage Your Ad Preferences.' There you’ll find everything Facebook knows" (11 January 2016). Handy.

So check before you repost those pathos shares. You can check at Facecrooks, or on Snopes (a fantastic urban legends debunking site).

Let's be careful out there.


 Sam

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