Posted by: David Harley | November 14, 2011

Facebook and chain messages

200,000 people can’t be wrong? Actually, they can, if they believe this message:

A 14 years old boy got beaten half dead by his stepfather.He only tried to protect his little sister from being raped.Now he's struggling for his life,but doctors say he won't make it without a surgery.His mother doesn't have money to pay it.Facebook donates 45cents for every sharing or reposting.Please help

 It makes no sense that Facebook would offer to pay for surgery conditional on shares and reposts. This is a variation on a classic ploy for getting people to pass on a useless and deceptive message by persuading them that they can achieve a warm fuzzy feeling of having done something charitable by doing something that costs them no money and virtually no effort (rather like the story I blogged about here). Well, I guess that might be the case sometimes: remember that gauche ploy by Bing, offering to give a dollar to Japanese disaster relief each time a URL was retweeted?

Hat tip to Graham Cluley for flagging this chainletter.

Small Blue-Green World/AVIEN
ESET Senior Research Fellow


  1. Oh, man, I have it seriously in for chain letters anyway, and especially this kind. I’d like to thrash the sickos behind these who think it’s it’s cool playing on people’s emotions to get laughs at their expense, while trivializing/making light of real situations, and harming real charities, wasting resources, arch. Here’s where I let them have it.

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