WHY YOU SHOULD BE WARY OF FACEBOOK COPY AND PASTE REQUESTS: INTERNET SCAMBUSTERS #801
What crosses your mind when a Facebook friend asks you to copy and paste their post rather than just sharing it?
Their intention may be a genuine attempt to widen the spread of their message — but there’s also a downside if the original poster was planning to harvest information about you.
In this week’s issue, we’ll explain the risks of copying and pasting, as well as highlight a couple of other tricks to be wary of.
Now, here we go…
COPY AND PASTE PLEA EXPOSES YOUR IDENTITY
If you’re a Facebook user, have you ever wondered why some of your “friends” post items they ask you to copy and paste rather than share?
Do you feel a little uneasy about why they asked you to do this?
Well, of course, they likely didn’t ask you. They simply copied and pasted the item themselves that one of their friends previously posted — and the request to pass it on in this way was already built in.
The trail goes all the way back to the original poster. It’s a sort of chain letter, which aims to reach as wide an audience as possible.
But why? Is it a scam?
Its purpose could certainly be dubious — but not always. First, you need to understand something important about the way sharing and copy/pasting work on Facebook.
In very simply terms, when you share a post from someone who has tightly controlled privacy settings, their privacy status effectively restricts who can see it. It can’t be made “public” and may not even be further shareable.
But when you copy and paste an item, you’re really creating a new post that can be seen by all your friends and beyond. In other words, it gets wider circulation.
So, you’re being used to help amplify a message. That may or may not be a good thing depending on its content.
But that’s not all. By copying and pasting, you’re effectively enabling the original poster to track everyone else who is repeating it.