Facebook, Facebook – your myriad evil genius continues to amaze and befuddle. You’ve got it right – it’s doing what you want… but sometimes it seems like you’re turning my life into an endless version of the 12 Days of Christmas – a post-modern 365 Days of Facebook Requests. I suppose it’s a matter of time before some clever muso records it for You-Tube and gets a million hits. But you read it here first.
How is it that folks who wouldn’t dream of forwarding a piece of spam, a blatant hoax, chain email or other piece of junk to me – have no problem sending me bogus requests to add endless games, spyware and outright rip-offs to my computer? I’ve got a small group of Facebook friends – all people I actually know and who know me. I can’t imagine the number of ‘requests’ people who have hundreds or thousands of friends get. Fortunately most of them don’t send notifications and requests to all their friends. But those that do… please think about what you are doing.
I’m not against any of these little programmes on principle. I’ve previously mentioned my fondness for anagrams and play a few myself. Twirl is a favourite time-waster when I am writing. A round is two minutes long and I can convince myself I deserve a little break. Just had one. Didn’t send anyone a notification about it. Didn’t request anyone to get it.
So here’s a familiar screenshot
I give them access to my Profile information, photos, my friends’ info and any other content it wants. In turn, Valentine’s Day Share the Love programme promises to donate money to charity. Okay – I do that. I rummage around and see they will be giving away a certain number of $50 Amazon vouchers (but only to residents of the US, UK and Canada – which leaves me out.) If you choose not to accept the $50, it will go to the World Food Programme. (OK, my $50 can go to charity.)
They’ve managed to donate $150 so far this year. Hmmm… how many millions of hits have they gotten with this programme? I have 14 ‘gifts’ waiting for me – multiply that out to even 1% of Facebooks subscribers and their ad revenue must be skyrocketing.
Then I notice that “Spread the love” is the same company that makes the “Crush” app at the bottom of the page. They are trying to con a $3.5o DAILY charge on the cellphone bill of anyone who doesn’t read the find print in their search to find out who would like to ‘Kiss them’ and who would like to do ‘MORE.’ (Fortunately, I don’t know anyone in Hamilton…) A couple of suckers there would fund their donations nicely and move our ‘spread the love’ entrepreneurs into a fine house on the hill.
Now I am not on a crusade against this particular outfit. They’re all as bad as each other. I’m just sick of seeing endless notifications from friends who can’t be bothered to click the “Skip” button and send everything they look at to every one of their friends. And it is especially annoying when it’s from a scam company like this.
There are thousands of legitimate causes on Facebook that raise both awareness and money. None of them do it like this.
Expecting Facebook to change who it accepts as advertisers is unrealistic. As long as they are in the black, with over 250 million hits a day and an endless stream of new subscribers, my annoyance won’t matter. I’m not going to delete my Facebook page, either – it’s useful. It does what it’s supposed to do.
But I would really love it if my Facebook friends would stop and think before they send ‘requests’ to everyone. You are being used to advertise these companies. Are your friends actually interested? Is it something genuinely interesting/valuable/fun? Or is it a scam? Personally, I’m always up for a new word game – I’d love to check out your new discovery. I’m a sucker for a movie quiz. If you discover something really cool – let me know!
But please stop spamming your friends. You wouldn’t do it in email – please, please, please stop doing it on Facebook…