Thursday, April 4, 2013

Can WeeBee More Gullible?

After about the um-teenth ridiculous hoax posted on Facebook by my Friends I had an idea to start a new organization of blind believers. The only qualification is that all members would have to be senselessly naive. They would have to believe whatever somebody posted on their Facebook and blindly share it with all of their Friends.

If the group really takes off then these people might even organize. They could get together from time-to-time for rallies around the country where they might jump up and down in an auditorium together and manifest their naivete in a chant. “Wee Beeleeve! We are the Weebees! Wee beeleeve everything that hoaxers and Weebees post on Facebook. Wee forward all such stupidity without hesitation because if it’s on Facebook. Wee beeleeve. Yay, Weebees!”

If you think that I’m way off of the mark then consider this post allegedly from the Houston Herald. A modern day, and unnamed, Calamity Jane put six rounds into the back of fleeing thief late at a night because he stole her purse while she waited for a bus in Texas. The next morning, the unnamed vigilante was “acquitted” at her “arraignment” by an unnamed judge. The reason that she shot the guy six times was because the gun only clicked on the seventh trigger pull. You can research this yourself or read my spin in another article.

Did you fall for the Facebook privacy notice? Don’t feel too bad. It was very legal looking for the average layperson. Sorry, though, that one was a hoax too. The gist of the notice was that you could declare all of your Facebook information private and protected if you simply posted the provided legal looking notice on your timeline. It included an invitation to all of your Friends to do the same. That one was as harmless as it was ineffective. That is not always the case.

Another post warns that gangs have started using children with a note containing a false home address to lure women into gang rape situation. This one had my attention. Thanks to a friend of mine, I have an extra-heightened awareness of misogyny and RAPE. However, before blindly sharing the post, I searched Google for the actual cases.

There are none. This hoax has clearly been debunked by websites like Snopes and Hoax Slayer that do nothing but research such things. Unfortunately, some hoaxes aren't always harmless.

A Houston local news station listed out several reasons not to buy into the gang RAPE hoax. Most alarming among them was a suggestion that such an emotional message might be a Trojan horse to spread a computer virus. That put me into Google again. You never know what to believe.

Right away I found a couple of links to sites set up for the purpose of generating fake Facebook postings. I didn't open them because I’m not about try them out. Second, I considered that such sites might be a lure to hook the unsuspecting new user for information or make them a mule to carry viruses to their Friends.

I also found out in this search that phishers are into Facebook. That was inevitable. Phishing is a term used to describe crooks who copy the presentation of trusted sites in order dupe weebees into giving up their sensitive information.

Phishing has been going on for years in other media. It was bound to hit Facebook. My first exposure was on eBay over ten years ago. A very official looking email came from eBay asking me for sensitive information that I knew that eBay already had.

The whole thing smelled foul. The URL didn't look right either. A check with eBay on the official site confirmed that I was being phished.  Around that time eBay began putting out warnings to their users to help them avoid being duped.

These hoaxes play on the emotions of people by using emotional issues. RAPE is flat out frightening to anyone who isn't a psychopath. RAPE is so ugly that it’s natural to want to join in a warning. Anything to do with guns puts people at opposite poles and pro-gun people love to show what the good guys can do with a gun. Greed is the biggest emotion that phishers play on to reel in weebees.

It only takes a minute to switch to another browser, though. Copy and paste some key words or a phrase from the Facebook posting to the Google search field. You should find the results enlightening. 

Posting fake information is tantamount to pissing on a toilet seat in a public restroom. Who, but a twisted coward, would do such a thing? That doesn't mean, though, that you have to ride the Weebee wagon.  Think rather than beelive. Don’t be a weebee.

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