I'm no genius and I don't have inside information on these scams, I'm just trying to use logic here.
I didn't really pay attention to the "share this" or "like this" posts on social sites, until it became a frenzy, especially on Facebook.
I'm not talking about sharing or liking friend's post, pages , Youtube videos, articles from reputable websites or blogs. I'm talking about the shady, demanding posts that go viral every day.
What is the reason behind this? I asked myself. Someone must profit from these posts, it cannot be just bored people making posts to circulate.
Thousands of posts are circulating on Facebook that prompt people to share the post and like the page it was posted on.
In my opinion, the reason behind this is very simple, really!
But first, let me tell you kind of posts I'm taking about. These posts could be seemingly educational, tickle people's funny bone, play with emotions such as love and fear, or use people's greed.
The educational posts:
Some of these posts could be useful, such as the warning signs of stroke, heart attack and so on. Others could be misleading where the post claims that such and such herb cures cancer.
The funny posts:
Most of them are really funny, thousands of people share them, and they click on the page to like it. We all like a good laugh now and then, so we do like those posts and we share them with our friends.
The emotional response posts:
"If you love Jesus, like the page"
You don't seriously think that Jesus wants you to like a Facebook page to prove your devotion and love to him, do you? You're getting my point.
"We donate $1 for every share and like to cancer research." Yeah, right!
"I bet nobody will share this little girls picture because she's bald after chemo."
Of course thousands of people share it trying to hold their tears back, because we are emotional and compassionate beings.
They use people's greed:
Who wouldn't like to win $10,000 or a Porsche if it takes only a click on the like button and share the post? Sounds too good to be true? You got it!
They play on people's fear or superstition:
"Share this post and money will come to you tomorrow."
"If you don't share, horrible things will happen to you."
Wanna take a chance not to get that money when all it takes is a click or God forbid something bad might happen if you don't click? Most people don't want to take that chance, so they dutifully click and share the post with their friends.
So, what is the real reason for this frenzy?
Simple greed and it is a business tool. Smart people create pages, post thousands of these emotional posts, until they reach thousands of LIKES and post shares. And then, they sell the page to companies, the page name is changed and the posts are deleted. And then, you are surprised why you start seeing hundreds of advertisement instead of your friend's posts. Simply because you liked that page, so they have the right to continue showing posts to you.
About those websites that enticing posts are circulating Facebook:
Just about the same idea as Facebook pages. They share interesting posts, pictures and videos, until the website gets a high page rank. Some of them are even go as far as not letting you see anything on the page, until you "like" or "follow" the website. When the PR is high enough, they sell the website, change the name and they have ready made followers and likers. Smart, huh?
Are you helping these people to make more money?
Then continue sharing their posts and linking their pages and websites. I'm not!
This is my opinion, what say you?
Erika M Szabo
Author of epic fantasy/magical realism novels and children's books, Publishing Coach at
Golden Box Books Publishing
Click to read my portfolio