The Life Farming Lottery

The Powerball draw on Wednesday (January 13, 2016) is an unprecedented $1.5 Billion USD.  That translates into a cash value of $930 Million USD.  In other words, more money than nearly everyone in the world can imagine.

POWERBALL
Most people have already run out and bought a ticket for Wednesday’s draw in the hopes that even if they don’t win the jackpot, they’ll win some of the lesser monetary amounts.  Everyone likes to dream, and there’s nothing wrong with dreaming.

There’s also nothing wrong with wanting to share the wealth should you be among the lucky ones who have their numbers drawn on Wednesday.  In fact, a number of philanthropic people have flooded Facebook with offers to share the jackpot with those who LIKE and SHARE their pages.

Six Examples
So what does the Powerball draw and these generous offers from businesses and personalities on Facebook have to do with Business Tuesday?  The fallout from those who see both the draw and the generosity of businesses and personalities on Facebook as the perfect opportunity to Life Farm.

Life farming (while prohibited by Facebook) is the act of trolling for LIKES and SHARES for a Facebook page to game the Facebook algorithms thereby causing the Facebook page to increase the number of views in newsfeeds.  This then translates into more LIKES and more SHARES.  And if the creator of the page is life farming, this is how they can quietly and effectively hoodwink people into clicking on links that people shouldn’t be clicking.

What kind of links?  Links that will allow the creator of the page to hack your Facebook account.  Links that will spread malware and computer viruses.

So how can someone else’s bad deeds cause legitimate businesses heartache and hardship?

Guilt By Association

Whether it’s direct or indirect, if your business’s social media page LIKES and/or SHARES a life farmer’s page,  you have unintentionally put your customers and potential customers at risk.  Your name and reputation has  just endorsed that life farmer’s page once your social media page has LIKED and/or SHARED a life farmer’s page.

Unintentional Damage

While you may not have known that the page you just LIKED and/or SHARED was created by a life farmer, if you don’t know who the creator of the page is, you’ve endangered others who trust your  name and reputation.  If they LIKE and/or SHARE that same page and they’re life farmed, the damage they incur is unintentional damage caused by your social media behavior.

Cybercriminal Community

When a life farmer decides to move on to greener pastures (or is concerned he or she may be found out), a life farmer’s page can command some pretty serious real life cash when it’s sold to other cybercriminals in black market web forums.  If those who have LIKED and/or SHARED a page created by a life farmer is unaware that this is the source of their social media problems, every new owner of that page is able to repeat the damage to every person who has LIKED and/or SHARED that page.

Final Note

Yes, it would be nice if philanthropy on social media didn’t reward life farmers but unfortunately, wherever the possibility for crime exists, there will be criminals more than willing to prey on kind-hearted people.  Don’t let life farmers play you or your customers and potential customers.

Instead of clicking on that LIKE button and SHARING the good news with friends, family, colleagues, and customers, scroll on down the page.  If you’d like to toss a few dollars into the pot, do so knowing that in many states, the profits from the sale of Powerball tickets benefit education.  That’s an instant win right there!

And should you win the jackpot  — with the odds being one in 292,201,338 or 0.0000003422 percent — then you can be as philanthropic as you want without putting anyone else at risk of being life farmed.

Elyse Bruce

 

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