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January 18th, 2012

Will Facebook/Hospitals Donate Money for Sharing a Photo?

Facebook hoaxes involving photos of children and fake promises of donations actually represent a serious problem on social media.

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If you’ve used Facebook for any significant amount of time it is likely that at some point you would have come across photos of sick, injured or disabled children that circulate Facebook along with the assertion that sharing or liking the photo will result in a donation or prayer for the child.

Many users comply with the requests, with the understanding that they are [or at least might be] helping the child in the photo, and in the process are unwittingly perpetrating a terrible trend that is causing much upset across the online community.

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Images poking fun at people who share these images are popular.

Firstly, no donations are made. Facebook, hospitals or charities do not condition important medical assistance on whether a photo goes viral across Facebook. The claim that they would is absurd.

Of course many users will share or like a photo, just in case it might be true, unaware that there is actually a very dark, sinister side to these hoaxes.

The reality is that these photos of children are stolen elsewhere from the Internet, without permission from the child or family, and the photo is exploited to accumulates fans for Facebook pages in a process known as Like-farming or Like-whoring.

This basically means posting content from a Page with the sole intention of getting the content to go viral across Facebook, which in turn will help the Page accumulate fans. Facebook Pages with lots of fans can be financially valuable to scammers, or marketing companies, who often will eventually inherit the page.

Like-farming scammers post all sorts of content, even content that is deceptive or immoral, such as photos that claim sharing them will invoke donations. However since these photos were acquired without permission, it is unethical to exploit them in this misleading manner. In the past, the families of the children in the photos have come across them being exploited. In other instances the child depicted in the photo had since passed away, making the entire scheme even more abhorrent.

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Ultimately, scammers who post these photos simply do not care about what content they post, as long as it goes viral, and no matter who or what that content exploits. These scams are very hurtful to the families involved and the entire hoax boils down to accruing followers to Facebook pages.

If you come across a photo, simply report it to Facebook, and avoid commenting, liking or sharing it. You can also report it to the “Stop Sick Children Hoaxes” Facebook group.

You can read more about like-farming on this page here to learn how it works and what you can do to help stop it.

Let us know your thoughts - comment on this story below.


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  • Pingback: Think Before You Click! Facebook Doesn't Donate For Sick Minds | ramgad.com

  • http://facebook.com/Miriah13 Miriah

    Wow, a friend of mine just posted a picture of a horribly burned baby with a message that said facebook will donate money if it’s reposted or liked. Seriously, how can people actually believe that? These people operate under the facebook page Cristiano Ronaldo & Leo Messi & Neymar. To stop the problem we need to stop the people posting these pictures.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003405672318 Klop

      People just fail at common sense… “BECAUSE IF SOMEBODY ON YOUR LIST ADDS THEM,YOU GET THE VIRUS TOO.” Well that would mean that since “facebook” corfinmed (lol sure they did) that means a couple of people had added them, which means pretty much everyone on facebook would now have this virus. This hoax is nothing new, I seen this in 1998 circulating in my hotmail inbox warning me not to open emails from 2 hotmail address’ or add them to msn, and if any of my friends add them I’ll magically get the virus too.

  • Pingback: The Sick Child Donate-Per-Share Facebook Hoax [Revisited] » ThatsNonsense.com Blog

  • V

    @Miriah I just saw that same picture of a burned baby and thought “Why would someone circulate this, why would facebook donate 3 bucks per share, and how would they even know when to stop sharing?” Then I though, this must be a hoax (a hoax that so many stupid people believe). The only thing that kind of activity is serving is to circulate a picture of suffering children.

  • J

    This type of problerm has been around since before email. People have always circulated rumors just to see how far they would spread. I think the truly sad thing about all this is that people keep falling for it. Generation after generation. It’s not rocket science to figure out a message is a scam. I think the problem is stupid people. That’s where the answer to the problems lies. Less ignorance.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003405968538 Jerry

      On September 31st, Facebook will start charging you for your acuocnt. To avoid this, you MUST get NAKED, stand on your dining room table and do the Macarena, all the while singing I Will Survive . After filming and posting it to your Facebook wall and YouTube, then, and only then, will Mark Zuckerberg come down your chimney to tell you that your acuocnt will stay free. Pass it on, it must be true because someone on Facebook I hardly know told me.

      • Maurice E. Gilbert Sr.

        Me too, but they also told me that when the police came to arrest me for indecent exposure that Warren Buffet and Bill Gates would bail me out of jail!!! ;-)

  • https://www.facebook.com/chanelly664 Chanel

    GOSH! Why does facebook have to be so mean? People do have the right to post and share those photos on facebook wanting to fund raise! I am not going to EVER report those photos because what would you rather do? Kill someone or help save their life? And if you guys really don’t support fundraisers, then I hope you start because every time I see those photos, I am going to share them anyway whether you guys like it or not! It’s so sad that you guys are being so cruel to them and not willing to help them out! :(((((

    • thatsnonsense.com

      Seems like you didn’t really grasp the article, Chanel. These are NOT fundraisers. Sharing the photos does NOT help the children. The photos are STOLEN and in many cases the families of the children in the photo are campaiging to Facebook to get them removed! Please read the article more carefully, Chanel.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003405977486 Mohammad

        Facebook, people are so bored they surf faooebck to express their rights and opinions and so it is for the darn hackers and spammers and all the creepy crawly critters of FB, as a FB fan myself I am smart enough to know if something is fake or not….so if you copy and paste this stupid message to all your friends and family than i guess you just paid with your time to waddle in the scam…wake up its cyber world not Earth. dont bother posting trash it gives them the thrill of your attention..just ignore them simple as that, if you cant than stop wasting our time hearing you cry and moan about it because we know you may be a thrill seeker as well….

      • purple

        very well said Craig…Kudos for this initiative!!!

    • Lou

      Are you fucking kidding me?
      Read the fucking article! ohh and for every like this comment gets facebook will donate 3 cents to get you a better brain :)

    • purple

      @Chanel: Don’t confuse yourself too much. The logic is simple “it doesn’t help…it is not true…and you are being played”Carry on sharing and some prankster out there is laughing his ass out how stupid you are to believe and easily played. :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/ryan.blackwolf.9 Brad Elroy

      Cant tell if trolling or just stupid.

    • Ang Faz

      just came across this article and noticed your comments, think before sharing pictures on facebook, the picture on the bottom left is my friend and her little girl while she’s on a berlin heart, awaiting a transplant,,,well sadly she died 5 yrs ago but people like you still share these pictures. this picture was taken by the ‘daily mirror’ newspaper raising awareness for organ donors, and was copied from google by a guy in jamacia to line his own pockets..so a word of advice STOP SHARING its hurting the family

    • Mark Jones

      It’s not about supporting fundraisers. It’s about spammers lying all over Facebook and getting people like you to believe it’s legit. Some people love having a “fooled you” attitude. I’ve been on FB since 2010, and I’ve seen a lot of the like-share scams. What if Facebook was a charity? What if Mark Zuckerberg was the Hugh Jackman or the Alex Trebek of the social networking world? If a picture of a
      dying baby didn’t get enough likes/shares and died, that sounds like a big lawsuit to me! Facebook can’t take those risks. People like Chanel are being cruel to the victims who never get the help they deserve. 300 million likes/shares is not going to open anyone’s wallet. Dying people deserve real help; not your counterproductive pity. “But it doesn’t hurt!” Really? Spreading lies hurts no one?

  • Robin

    i just received a post that a little 6 year old boy was shot 6 times because his little 6 year old sister was going to be raped by there step father. the people that are doing this are wrong, we care so we post it but if they are just doing it to start a stunt they need to be stopped it is not funny and it is not right. Children are people and they deserve respect to!!

  • Mollie

    Unfortunately the same kind of thing Robin was talking about is recirculating about a now 14 year old boy in the story and with what I would assume a new picture. They offer a link for more photos but FB must have taken it down/it was fake as it does not work. It’s sad that these sick people feed off children in particular most of the time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/linda.r.roberson Linda Rolett Roberson

    this is a sad way to play on people’s compassion,I am guilty of sharing or “liking” a pic of a little baby that I thought might get help,guess I am just a dumb grandmother that thought,” well it couldn’t hurt.”

  • http://youtube.com/user/triplepogi2009 Specter Productions

    (sigh) I swear posts like these are starting to circulate AGAIN…


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