Although the nostalgia ones might go some way towards making you feel like you're not the only thirty something flicking through your Facebook feed on your iPhone when you really should be doing something more useful, I am not entirely convinced that a like really does send any respect to our troops or is going to have any bearing on scumbags who hurt animals.
This morning while scrolling down my feed I came across a harrowing picture of a starving dog in a bin bag that one of my Facebook friends had liked and it prompted me to do some research and write this post.
Thousand upon thousand of people had liked this picture of this poor animal. The profile picture of the supposed girl who had posted it, was that of some sexy young looking 16 year old with boobs that looked like she'd stolen them from a far more buxom looking woman than she was.
So I clicked on her profile and found that most of her posts were soft porn pictures (she seems to have a special liking for girl on girl) with the call to action to 'like if you think she is hot', interspersed with the odd starving dog. All her posts had a fair few likes, which as someone who works in social and knows how hard it is to acquire likes made me wonder for a moment if I should just start posting porn as a way of getting more?
After coming back to my senses, I started to formulate an idea as to what all this thoughtless liking is about.
I read an interesting blog article the other day by Danny Brown called 52 cool social media facts which reported that 25% of Facebook users don't have any privacy settings on their accounts.
This means that potentially 1 in 4 of all those thousands of people that have liked that picture of that poor abused dog have just shared all the information on their Facebook profiles with what they think is a 16 year old girl with big boobs. I have a few male friends that will probably be quite happy about that fact, but stop for a minute - what if in fact that hot looking young lady in the profile picture is actually a cover for a hacker who wants to spam your account or even worse a criminal mastermind who wants to steal your identity???
Suddenly that lovely person who was raising awareness of animal abusers and playing on your sense of what is right and what is wrong by encouraging you to like a picture may not be the caring individual you initially thought they were, and maybe what you have just liked is the fact you have just given up your details to a cyber criminal gang (and liked it in the process - oh the irony)!
In real life we have all learned to feel a sense of caution when we meet strangers yet in cyberspace our guard suddenly comes down and we trust anyone on the basis of a profile picture or a heartfelt message. We are all guilty of it myself included, but we need to remember that we are exposing ourselves online and take the necessary precautions. Just like in real life, not everyone you meet is your friend, and not everyone has your best interests at heart.
I may be wrong about my suspicion of the young lady with the penchant for pictures of other young girls with their boobs out, maybe that is just her thing, but if it is she will get over it if you don't like it, and that might lead to her stopping clogging up my Facebook feed, which can only be a good thing!
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