The cancer of Facebook like-bait

Coca Cola and Cancer

There are a few of these going around at the moment (click on the images to see the original post)

Austin has collected over 300K slacktivist likes already: even though he can’t count too well — how many fans does Coca Cola have?

Close but no cigar, Maggie…

That’s right, Eddie. Coke has 52,364,730 fans right now. But accuracy isn’t a real feature of these things.

Austin is upset that everyone is copying his idea.

Only it turns out that it’s not his idea — although he’s one of the few success stories for this particular meme – around 305K likes to date.

 

Spongebob and Cancer

This little charmer has ~43K likes. Here’s another example

 

Munchausen’s Disorder and Cancer

Hundreds of Facebook users were duped for years by an Internet imposter who posed as a young man battling leukemia and his younger brother, who both collected online girlfriends and raised sympathy for cancer causes.

USA Today

 

Are these the same thing?

I’d argue that yes, they are. All of them are preying on our sympathies and fears to the same end; to attract Facebook Likes. Whether it’s a motivational statement, a missing child, or cancer all these people are gaming the system because the system is there to be gamed.

What makes this really clear to me is that people will copy-paste successful like-bait that they see elsewhere. I’m not saying you shouldn’t click on it, of course. I’m not the internet police. But it’s worth having some context.