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Dudley Dowell
Wed, Dec 31, 2014 - 12:00 AM

How can I avoid scams, cons, and being "played" on Facebook?

1 Answer


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Bo Bennett, PhD
Host, Doctor of Social Psychology


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Bo Bennett, PhD

Host, Doctor of Social Psychology


About Bo Bennett, PhD

I am the host of this show :) For my complete bio, please see
PrintWed, Dec 31, 2014 - 12:00 AM
I began to write a post about how people fail to think critically when it comes to Facebook, then I realized that my assumption was unfair. Lack of knowledge (in this case, the technical limitations and advertised "like" formulas of Facebook) is not a problem with critical thinking. So here are some tips in recognizing when you are probably being duped.

1) When you see a photo of a beautiful girl with Down Syndrome, a horribly mutilated troop, maimed animals, or any other photo that tugs at your heart strings or infuriates you, with a caption that specifically asks you to "like", realize that if you do, you are most likely a pawn in the game of someone who is creating popular Facebook business pages and selling them. You may choose to "like" or share the post anyway because you care more about the message than the motivations of the one who created the post, but at least you are aware of the possible, less-than-honorable motivations.

2) When you see a post asking you to "like" or comment within a certain number of seconds, realize that you are NOT being timed. This is a classic psychological technique employed to create a sense of urgency and bypass critical thought.

3) When you are asked to "like" a photo and "see what happens," don't expect anything to happen besides the number of likes to increase by 1. This technique plays your curiosity against your reason (and your reason typically loses).

4) When you are asked to comment on a photo with a special word to "see what happens," don't expect anything to happen besides the number of comments increasing by 1, for the same reason as in #3.

5) When you are given the choice to "like" a post or "ignore if you don't care" or some equally as guilt-inducing statement, realize that you are being played. Confidently ignore these posts knowing that you are not contributing to spreading this emotional blackmail.

Feel free to "like" or share this post, or don't. You have no time limit here, and your choice not to "like" or share this post in no way reflects negatively on you. If you do "like" or comment on this post, nothing miraculous will happen, but maybe, just maybe, more people will be aware of these cheap tricks and fewer people will attempt them.

A man can dream.
Bo Bennett, PhD
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