Info-tech

A viral that is just a sick prank

R Dinakaran | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on September 11, 2015

facebook

Are you on Facebook? Okay. How many times have you come across a post that entices you to “type 1 and see what happens” or “click Like and see what happens”.

If you have fallen for it and clicked, well, nothing would have happened. Now you would have clicked a couple of times more just because nothing happened - “May be I didn’t click properly?”

Nothing happens because nothing is supposed to happen. What you (and thousands like you) have done by clicking on the ‘Like’ button or typing ‘1’ in the comment box -- is to help the post go viral. It would have also got into your Facebook wall, irritating your friends.

There are also posts that play with sentiments. They usually come with a picture of a cute kid who “is suffering from cancer” and with a fervent request to ‘Like’ it or ‘Share’ it if you want to help fight cancer.

Most of the time, the pictures are fake - like the “my sister Mallory” post that had a picture of a child who had Down’s Syndrome. The parents of the kid - whose real name was ‘Katie’, were shocked when they realised their child’s photo was going viral on the Internet with a fake name. The only truth was that Katie had Down’s Syndrome, but her parents had not posted her picture online or sought help.

But why do people do this? Facebook’s algorithm for popular posts measures ‘Likes’ and comments. The more Likes or comments a post gets, Facebook thinks the post is getting popular and pushes it more.

There is no real monetary benefit as of now if a page or post gets Likes, but being up there with a few lakhs of Likes, however useless it may be, gives the person who has posted it, a high.

So, the next time you come across a picture of a scantily clad woman that urges you to “click and see what happens”, just ignore it. Or if you still believe in such miracles, you can try sharing this piece on your Facebook wall. If you don’t, your Facebook will get infected by a virus and crash.

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Published on September 11, 2015
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