Facebook, for all the good things it brings us, is fast becoming a source of irritation and mild rage for me. The social networking aspect of the site that was originally intended has taken a back seat to the games, applications and constant stream of phishing and spam scams that have littered the landscape of Facebook lately. The games and applications are tolerable, but the scams have gotten way out of hand and I blame the legions of gullible, mindless Facebooking drones who continue to allow their accounts to be compromised despite the fact that these scams are both obvious and well known by now. To quote an old saying, "artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity", and it pains me to see this affirmed so many times on Facebook.
The scams always work the same. Someone posts a link on your wall or in a group that you frequent, proclaiming to contain something so interesting or shocking that you have to click the link to see what it is. This can include things like something some kid did in order to get expelled from school, what someone did to some girl that caused her to commit suicide, or more recently, links that will allow you to see who has viewed your profile, who your top stalkers are, and even links to leaked photos of Osama Bin Laden's bullet-riddled corpse. True to form, people's mindless curiosity kicks in and they feel compelled to click these links when common sense would suggest that it's probably bogus. Then it takes you to a website outside of Facebook that asks for permission to access your account - red flag number two! Yet, people still click the "allow" button and from there, you are bombarded with advertising and you realize that you've been punked. Bad enough, but it doesn't end there. In allowing this spambot access to your Facebook account, you are effectively a conduit for spreading the same link to your friends, who will click on it and spread the virus further.
Because off this, my Facebook newsfeed and my friend's pages are absolutely polluted with an endless stream of these annoying links that people continue to spread through their ignorance and mindless curiosity. As a blanket statement to all Facebook users, DO NOT CLICK ON THESE. Do not allow any outside applications to have access to your page, do not click on any of these bogus "See Your Top Stalkers" or "OMG...Click Here To See This" links and please do not click anything that says "Click Here To Verify Your Account". The fact that these are scams is so painfully obvious that I cannot help but think that only a dumbass with an IQ lower than their shoe size would fall for it. Yet people still do, so at the risk of sounding like a dick, I'll leave you with some simple advice that should guide anything you do online: THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK! If something sounds phishy (ah, a pun!), exercise common sense and avoid it like you've been trained to do by being taught critical thinking and deductive reasoning in school. Facebook may have dumbed down out abilities for communication and human interaction, but there is no need to throw your other faculties out the window as well. Think. Be Smart. For your attention and adherence to this advice, I humbly thank you.
*Deep Breath* I feel better now.