Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Facebook Hoax

Today I'm going to try something different for a change. Instead of trying to be creative and writing my own blog, and probably failing to do so drastically and instead end up posting something completely uncreative and boring, I'm going to take snippets out of someone else's creative post which turned out a lot better than I ever could have done (giving them credit of course), and perhaps that way, my post in its entirety might be slightly more interesting. Its time for a bit of a change anyway.

At one time or another, we have all received an e-mail or seen a photo on Facebook concerning a poor sick child, next to a story about how the child had been cruelly neglected/beaten/injured, and that for each time a person forwards that e-mail to their friends, or shares the picture on Facebook, Google or Facebook would donate one dollar for the child's treatment. Of course, most of us encounter this kind of thing very shortly after first being introduced to the internet, so most of us are quite frightened by it, thinking "Is this thing real or not?"

Some may reason that "Hey, maybe this kind of thing really is possible, if they attach some kind of tracking device to the post when they send it out. Then they would donate an amount of money equal to the number of times the post was passed on. Of course, that doesn't mean that everytime we come across one, it's real thing. But some of them might be real. Right?" Right? Well, actually, no. Those things are completely and undoubtedly, hoaxes.

Stopping to think for a while now, I suddenly realise that this post may be obsolete, as everyone on the internet has probably figured this out by now, because there's been all these internet awareness-raising campaigns going on and whatnot. I hardly see those things appearing on me newsfeed anymore. But I did see one of it, a couple of weeks ago. A friend of mine shared it. That's what made me decide to write about it in the first place, and its the reason I think I'll go through with this post to the end.

How can we be so sure that it's a hoax? Well, look at it this way: Would the Facebook company ever say something like "Oh, I am very touched by this child's story, and I would love to donate to his/her cause, but you know what, I'll only donate if the photo gets a lot of shares on Facebook." Uh, no. Doesn't quite sound right, now does it? Another reason is, the photos that are circulated in such a manner are often real, i.e. not Photoshopped, meaning that it is a photo of a real child facing real pain. But these photos are usually photos of a child who has already passed; meaning, the photos were probably stolen from a hospital somewhere or something, and by continuing to share the photo, it will reach the eyes of more people, and those who were relatives of the child or personally knew him, would be devastated to see the likeness of the child being misused in this way, to borrow a phrase from another website.

That's about it, I guess. In short, the "Facebook Donates for Sharing a Photo" thing is a hoax, so don't share it, and do the world a favour by reporting the photo instead. You guys are lucky, because after I had made up my mind to write about this topic, some weeks ago, I did a bit of research on it, and by the time I went in to bed I was all inspired to write a long analogy about the whole thing. It was about a king and his subjects. That very same night, I sat down and wrote it. It is still written down in a notebook on my desk right now, and it's a few pages long. Fortunately, I decided to just write what you see above instead, and perhaps link a few other sites, so you don't ever have to read any of that drivel I wrote that night, ever. Yay for summarisation.

I thought that two of the websites I visited when doing my "research" did a very good job of telling the whole story in a clear and not-at-all-too-long-winded manner. Unfortunately, today I can only recall one of those pages. But there are many different ways for you to find out more about it, if you're interested. After all, the world is supposed to be at the tip of our fingers, right? What with all this newfangled internet and all. Anyway, for a clearer and less jumbled-up account of the above issue, you can always pay a short visit to Facecrooks, and, of course, Google.

No comments:

Post a Comment