Stealing Identities and Stories for Likes

Exploiting Down’s Syndrome for likes.

Meet the real princess in this picture, our daughter Katie.

You might have seen her photo on Facebook with these words “This is my sister Mallory. She has down syndrome and doesn’t think she’s beautiful. Please like this photo so I can show her later that she truly is beautiful.”

And I liked it, for the second time in fact. There is another girl with Down’s Syndrome who looks lovely too, and I liked hers as well. What’s not to like. They’re both pretty girls.

Then I did a little research. Turns out her real name is Katie, and this is what her mother has to say:

Millions of Individuals Rally Behind Our Daughter

“While we are disturbed and distressed that someone would take advantage of Katie in this way, we are simultaneously humbled and gratified for the monstrous outpouring of love, support and encouragement directed toward our daughter. Literally millions upon millions of individuals across the country and the world have been moved and united in solidarity to support her. You have been touched by her beautiful face and wished to reach out to her. You have seen beyond her disability to the spirit that lies beneath. There are no words to adequately express what we have felt to watch the world unite behind our Katie. Truly the goodness still present in an often-ugly world is staggering, and we are honored to witness it first hand. In that spirit, we felt the desire to reach out to you in return and let you meet the real princess in pink.”

So I added a comment with a link to this site, and another FB friend did as well, at least three times. And a few others complained that they’d seen this before on other Facebook pages. And a few people noticed, but mostly our comments got buried under an avalanche of positive support. It just took off, which is heartwarming. Just a shame that all that outpouring of support is being exploited.

You like but are you being scammed.

“So what’s going on? Well, in the social media age, every eyeball, follow, or like has value, and someone’s out to get yours.

Some of them may be genuine. Some may just be crazy kids getting a kick out of watching the likes skyrocket. Some may link through to sites that you really don’t want to go to.

And some of them are making cold hard cash.”

It has something to do with Facebook EdgeRank.
To learn more: The Marketers Guide to Facebook EdgeRank.

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