What the Facebook privacy scam revealed about Facebook users: they’re gullible idiots

In this guest post, Chris Taylor points out what a fake privacy notice that circulated widely on Facebook this week says about Facebook users.

I have around 375 friends on Facebook. It’s not a huge number, but it’s manageable. Some are best mates I’ve known for years, some are mere acquaintances I’ve met less than a handful of times. And some of them are so stupid I’m beginning to wonder how they function in normal society on a daily basis.

Ok, so maybe that’s a bit harsh. What’s a more appropriate word…um, naïve? No. Reactionary? No, that’s not quite right either.

facebook warning

The Facebook warning spread by the temporarily stupid

But if I was a lawyer representing them in court, I’d plead guilty for them on the grounds of temporary stupidity. “I’m sorry, Your Honour, they received a post detailing a loophole in Facebook’s privacy settings. They simply had to post it to their wall without thinking for the good of the nation. I promise, this act of wanton imbecility is totally out of character.”

15 of my Facebook friends. Fifteen. One-five people, who are of at least above average intelligence re-posted that Facebook Privacy loophole statement to their wall on Monday. There were probably more, but I was saved their blushes by Facebook’s “yeah you probably don’t need to see that” matrix.

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the need to be the first on your wall to share a seemingly vital piece of Internet gold. We’re all human and we’ve all got Klout scores to maintain. But have we seriously reached a point in out lives where the need to be ‘first’ with shared information overrides our need to be right?

Now, any one of my friends unlucky enough to find themselves stuck in the vortex of asinine ephemera that I smear onto my Facebook wall will attest to the fact that my standards are pretty low. But they do exist. I rarely get political, I rarely do causes other than to push my own barrow and I rarely, if ever, pass on third party legal statements that promise absolution from potential, imaginary, bad-court-thingies.

Ok, so maybe by now I’ve got a few less friends, but if I’m losing the kinds of weak links that lack the common sense to know that the page you had to like to watch that video of a “naughty schoolgirl being caught by her father doing something” is going to plaster itself all over your newsfeed, then I’m probably not losing much.

The same goes for those “1. Click the picture. 2. Type “I’m a moron” in the comments. 3. See what happens!” posts. You know what happens? All your friends slap their foreheads and second-guess whether to just hide your activity or straight up un-friend you.

These are all different kettles of fish, of course. But the thing that irked me so much about the Facebook Privacy Scam post was the way people were willing to freely share something they clearly knew so little about, yet trusted implicitly.

What made everyone believe this? Was it the relative trustworthiness of the person who first posted it to their wall? Was it the fact that it quoted some legal sounding thing and a law with a long, impressive looking number attached to it? Or was it simply the allure of the being the first to post within their wider friendship group that deactivated the safety switch that normally stops us replying to emails from Nigerian Princes to divulge our bank details and mother’s maiden name?

Or is it simply because we’ve all accepted that many terms and conditions and End User License Agreements without reading what we’re agreeing to that we’re all completely oblivious to our actual rights and responsibilities online? Are we so scared of the imagined consequences we ignored when we signed on that we’re willing to chuck in our credibility for a hoax?

It’s nothing new. In fact, it would appear my usually clever, brilliant, hilarious and lovely friends have simply fallen for the oldest sales trick in the book. Fear, Exclusivity, Greed, Guilt, Need for approval.

The social media landscape is littered with hoaxes. All designed to make us look fegg’n stupid. It seems some people are forgetting to tread carefully.

Chris Taylor is the founder of copywriting service Shabbadu, which launched in April year.

Comments


  1. Jamie
    28 Nov 12
    11:54 am

  2. Social Media tends to bring out the stupid in everybody.

    If I see one more captioned image, where the story attached is completely made up and most times the image is not even related/from the same story – I will scream. I will certainly delete you from my friends list.

    The latest one I saw regarding racism amongst police showed a beaten up black man with a sad story of how a white officer beat him to look like that.

    Turns out, with just a minute of research (literally drag the picture into Google’s new image search), it shows that the black man used was actually a firefighter from a completely different city, who was arrested for getting into a fight in a bar.

    How can people share something that talks about racism when it doesn’t even tell two different black people apart? Oh, he is black and is beaten up, seems legitimate.

    Do people turn off their common sense radars when it comes to social media? Is it a sense of ease-to-share that we click the like button or share button on anything and everything that vaguely resembles our interests?

    I think it is because Facebook and social media is the ultimate procrastination, we don’t want to have to work to find out the truth behind these things. If I wanted to research the legality of posting a fake-legal notice on my wall, I would actually be doing the work I was supposed to be doing in the first place.

    It’d be interesting to see how many of us “switch-off” when it comes to social media, and what implications that might have for society.

  3. Sew Shawl
    28 Nov 12
    12:11 pm

  4. RE: “Or is it simply because we’ve all accepted that many terms and conditions and End User License Agreements without reading what we’re agreeing to that we’re all completely oblivious to our actual rights and responsibilities online?”

    On this note, I bought some tickets online last night and had to agree to terms, I simply clicked “agree”. I wouldn’t agree with the small print anyhow, but I want the concert tickets and can’t buy them elsewhere? As a result I will probably receive sms’s and emails from the ticket seller – hey ho, I will have to unsubscribe…

    As for ‘stupid’ people on Facebook:
    I think it can actually depend on how Facebook savvy people are and also how emotionally intelligent people are. People who are ‘sheltered’ or lack emotional intelligence, might well succumb to scams more so than others who are a little more ‘street smart’. Very smart people can fall for scam’s or open a video that to the regular Facebook user will identify as a spam vid. If you rarely use Facebook you might well get caught out and make yourself look like a a bit of a, erm, loser.

    However, I think your commentary is a little self righteous. “Stupid”, I wouldn’t say stupid myself. Some people generally get caught out due to their life experience up to that date. Their perspective soon changes afterwards, unless of course, they are indeed “stupid” ;)

  5. Wolfcat
    28 Nov 12
    12:23 pm

  6. I just scrolled to the bottom of this article and hit I agree.

  7. Matt H
    28 Nov 12
    12:32 pm

  8. It’s funny that you should say you’re “beginning to wonder how they function in normal society.” This is exactly how they function – by following the herd. There’s significant advantages to being part of the herd. People take their cues from others all the time and there’s significant advantages to doing so. On social media, these patterns are more obvious and recorded for posterity and the initial cause often trivial, which makes it look irrational. And in some cases it totally is. But in others it isn’t, and you want to be with the herd in that instance.

  9. Isaac
    28 Nov 12
    12:33 pm

  10. This is simply the latest evolution of the classic chain letter, later to become chain emails (“forward this so all your friends will be aware of this threat”/”forward this to 10 people if you don’t want to die tomorrow”), and other brain diseases so prevalent on social media, notably KONY and “change the colour of Facebook”. Not to mention the guilt-tripping “like if you don’t want your mother to die” BS.

    Gullible people have always existed, and these memetic pieces of turd take advantage of that to spread. Social media has just made it that much more visible, and I now take those posts as explicit markers of the gullibility of certain segments of my online aquaintances.

  11. Shamma
    28 Nov 12
    12:40 pm

  12. dude trying to look like Pitbull?

  13. Janet
    28 Nov 12
    1:15 pm

  14. Oh to be as brilliant as you Chris Taylor. Some people, including myself, reposted because I trusted the source I received it from. And some people, have, you know….jobs. Facebook is just a distraction to many and not something we all have the time or inclination to explore every detail of. Given recent info on changes to FB Policy it does not surprise me that many people,” the ones so stupid I’m beginning to wonder how they function in normal society on a daily basis” as you so eloquently put it, fell for it. But then we all don’t have the benefit of your brilliance I guess. Self important much???

  15. Kitty
    28 Nov 12
    1:19 pm

  16. such a well written piece and so unbelievably true of the stupidity of people…another example is like this or the insert animal/baby/random object here will die. no no it won’t – try donating to the charity instead of just liking a horrible picture!

  17. Neil Hume
    28 Nov 12
    1:20 pm

  18. I should probably warn you about the ‘Good Times’ virus too…

  19. zzzz
    28 Nov 12
    1:22 pm

  20. Do yourself a favour and have a look at the piece on the onion about social media – its gold. “Have an idea and use your skills to implement it “- thats so old world ha haaa

  21. poe
    28 Nov 12
    1:22 pm

  22. Tee
    28 Nov 12
    1:27 pm

  23. Facebook is free because you are the product. Wish more people would understand this.

  24. Sew Shawl
    28 Nov 12
    1:30 pm

  25. Video all about it here, he he:
    http://www.collegehumor.com/vi.....for-idiots

  26. One of the fifteen
    28 Nov 12
    1:32 pm

  27. What a complete pile of missing-the-point douchery. Speaking as one of the ‘infamous 15′ let me try and explain my thinking in posting the offending legalese:

    1) the cost of posting those two paragraphs was virtually zero while the potential upside was significant. So even though it was highly likely that it wasn’t in fact legit, the only downside was my friends having to see one more bit of drivel in their feed (they already get plenty, i assure you). So what the hell, i took the risk.

    2) the number of people who are reposting the offending legalese does demonstrate that there is a growing concern about the potential use by Facebook. The cost of using Facebook is the ever-increasing number of sponsored posts, and hopefully is not the use of images and content in other ways – sending that message to Facebook doesn’t seem such a bad idea.

    So I got all that for the cost of my friends having to take the 1.2seconds to scroll past the post, the 4 secs to comment on my post that I’m a gullible idiot, or (heavens above) the 8 seconds to unfriend me.

    I say that’s a good deal – or maybe I’m just post-justifying so I don’t feel like I’m too stupid to function.

  28. Nicknp.wilkins@yahoo.com.au
    28 Nov 12
    1:46 pm

  29. Yeah….. posted it beacuse it came from someone who has an MBA and I used to work with. And it sounded legit, just like all the () asking for money tranfers ha ha.

  30. 375 friends?
    28 Nov 12
    1:46 pm

  31. 375? show-off!

  32. Don't React, Respond
    28 Nov 12
    1:49 pm

  33. I write music for a living (TV & film) and have many ‘friends’ on FB who are in the music industry as well. Some of these friends are very successful and well known and have had their copyright violated, as I also have had, on a number of occasions. People post links to their latest work, photos of gigs, their artwork etc and other sources that they definitely don’t want ‘owned’ by anyone other than themselves. This knee jerk reaction is understandable and your reaction to your friends’ responses seems pretty harsh and judgmental. Wait until you’ve had your hard slog stolen or copied within an inch of it’s life and used without your permission to for advertising purposes and see how your fair on the ‘gullible’ scale. We all sign away our rights by agreeing to ‘terms and conditions’ … to what degree, until something goes wrong, we just don’t know.

  34. @ThePrive
    28 Nov 12
    1:52 pm

  35. This is all very harsh @ChrisTaylor.

    Facebook users represent a very large spectrum of the Australian population. Majority of users don’t operate daily in our area of marketing, and thus dont keep up to date with social media T&Cs or Federal + State media laws.
    This does not mean that they are ‘so stupid, they cannot function in normal society on a daily basis’.

    You also have to look at the pros & cons of reposting a simple copy and past.
    I understand that it’s slightly irritating to read the ‘post’ for the 15th time, but it’s just a reflection of how rarely anyone ever reads T&Cs before accepting, and those who lack knowledge in a certain area, are easily persuaded to follow the herd.

    /J.

  36. Sarah-Jane Shaw
    28 Nov 12
    1:53 pm

  37. Chris – to your point that this post is a hoax, what exactly constitutes the hoax? The fact that a Facebook user can’t copyright the content of their profile or that the post is a misrepresentation of Facebook’s privacy agreement and right to use content? OR both? Or have I missed the point entirely (putting aside the fact that I probably agree it’s just a modern version of a chain letter) – in which case, I’d probably fall within your definition of someone with a question mark over their ability to function in normal society.
    You haven’t actually stated whether you’ve read Facebook’s privacy agreement and whether you can say, in your opinion, that it complements or over-reaches an individual’s right to online privacy in Australia.
    As a lawyer, I was sceptical when I saw friends (one of whom is also a lawyer) post and re-post this “hoax” but not having taken the time to actually read Facebook’s privacy agreement, I don’t know what Facebook claim they are entitled to use.

  38. Shabbadu
    28 Nov 12
    2:01 pm

  39. @One of the Fifteen. I was hoping you’d show up.
    Firstly, well, you know, it’s like just my opinion, man.
    Secondly, it’s not missing the point douchery at all. It might be douchery and a little self-righteous, but the point is, this was passed on by a lot of people I know who are paid well to make important decisions on a daily basis. My question is, what does it say about their powers of deduction that they would blindly forward a hoax even if the cost was ‘virtually zero’? The overall point is, social media can make us do silly things. If we can’t stop ourselves from doing them, what hope do we have of convincing our clients not to?

  40. Mark
    28 Nov 12
    2:09 pm

  41. “my standards are pretty low. But they do exist. I rarely get political, I rarely do causes other than to push my own barrow”. Chris, maybe I’ve taken you out of context but, apart from your rather haughty disdain for the gullible & trusting, I’m intrigued by your “standards”. Of course it’s totally subjective, but I find f-b quite handy for stimulating political discussion, even if it does occasionally get out of hand- at least people are communicating. As for causes- some are admittedly a pain when they’re constantly being shared by well-meaning friends / acquaintances but all the same, on-line petitions such as those from AVAAZ & GetUp are often effective & can make for a more functional contribution to democratic process than our constantly bickering pollies generally permit, but then maybe I’m just a slacktivist.

  42. Shabbadu
    28 Nov 12
    2:12 pm

  43. @everyone else who commented after reading the first paragraph.
    This isn’t an argument about the content or subject of the hoax. It’s about disseminating information that purports to be designed for a purpose without understanding what you’re forwarding on.
    As for the ‘too stupid to function’ comment, I do believe I tempered that in the article. I still love all my friends, even the ‘temporarily stupid’ ones.

  44. Technojames
    28 Nov 12
    2:16 pm

  45. If anything it highlights the large amount of distrust Facebook users have toward Facebook itself.

    Assuming you knew little about copyright law, why wouldn’t you post it?

    You’ve simply come across as a self-important, all-knowing media douche.

    Good job!

  46. Archie Leech
    28 Nov 12
    2:22 pm

  47. Considering the vast majority of comments above, I think Chris has made his point well!

  48. Some Suit
    28 Nov 12
    2:33 pm

  49. I’m really confused by all the histrionics. Did reposting the “hoax” spread an irreparable virus to all who are friends of the post-er? Did it mean that the poster’s data would be captured and kept for dubious means by swindlers in Nigeria?

    No. It was really all quite harmless. Nothing changed, nothing bad happened. And correct me if I’m wrong, but the outcome of all of this is Facebook’s public affirmation that I ‘own’ whatever content I post on my FB page. Awesome. So I’ll continue to post whatever the feck I like, with the enlightened knowledge that I may well suffer the judgemental wrath of Chris Taylor.

    Am dying to read Chris’ vitriolic response to the other ‘most posted’ entry on my wall yesterday – video footage of the cat and the dolphin. Or perhaps he found that to be quite profound…

  50. Chris
    28 Nov 12
    2:37 pm

  51. Good to hear you feel your mates are idiots…

  52. L Parrett
    28 Nov 12
    2:45 pm

  53. The truth is Facebook’s product is our data and as we evole to a new level of acceptance of this uncomfortable reality we are still optimistic of finding a balance to the sheer joy of sharing and the need and desire for privacy.

  54. Angela
    28 Nov 12
    3:32 pm

  55. stupid?

    really how many times a month does Facebook change – it’s continuous. There is a lot in the media about image rights on FB and how laws may start to catch up with viral media shortly.

    I re posted Chris and actually I’m not stupid. I went and looked at FB’s T&C’s and found that as I’m NOT A LAWYER like you I was unsure as to whether my images and content would actually remain mine.

    So I posted to cover my ass just in case.

    It didn’t hurt anyone and I don’t feel particularly stupid.

    It seems to me Chris you need to get out and have some fun because your take on life is rather toxic

  56. South of the border
    28 Nov 12
    3:39 pm

  57. What i didn’t understand about everyone re-posting this privacy thing, was, um, it was on facebook. What most people use facebook for is to re-post other people’s stuff (articles, images, songs, youtube links etc) which are surely owned by the originators not the people re-posting them. Massive irony fail.

    We are all using facebook for free, many times a week. Don’t like it, don’t use it. Surely it’s not that difficult to comprehend.

    Bravo Chris. Spot on.

  58. Keaton
    28 Nov 12
    3:55 pm

  59. Type the kanomi code into Facebook though… that’s an easter egg. UP UP DOWN DOWN LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT B, A, Enter

    magic.

  60. Cognitively DIssonant
    28 Nov 12
    4:16 pm

  61. But Angela,

    surely the point of the article is you did hurt people.

    Look at what Janet 1.15pm says. She reposted because she trusted the source she got it from. By reposting, you’re putting your imprimatur on fake content and legitimising it.

    Isn’t the real message of this ‘think piece’ that you shouldn’t just believe what you read on Facebook, possibly you should check with a second source and definitely you should have faith in your own content before you post it.

    I, for one, always fact check my internet cat photos before I post them.

  62. Tbone
    28 Nov 12
    4:22 pm

  63. You might find this article of interest

    How to spot a fake Facebook post about Facebook
    http://www.mustardcreative.com.....-facebook/

  64. Ummm...
    28 Nov 12
    4:25 pm

  65. Many many many many smart people have fallen foul of hoaxes. Not just on the internet either.

    War of the Worlds – radio
    Trojan Horse – ambient
    Santa Claus – direct mail
    Lady boys in Thailand – experiential

    Who hasn’t been victim to one of those? So yes, you are being too harsh.

  66. Jono
    28 Nov 12
    5:10 pm

  67. In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that you can steal whatever you want from my facebook distribute it and blow it up and put in a billbaord if you like. Share, spread and make me go viral, I don’t care. Feel free to pilfer anything on here that takes your fancy, photos of me drunk or dancing in the disco, if it floats your boat copy and paste it for all the world to see. I post stuff here and so do other people to be seen. I don’t care who see’s it, if I did it wouldn’t be on here in the first place. If you are a corporation and want to steal my image to sell your brand feel free and I will sue your ass later for using my image and become rich. I dare you! That is all.

  68. Simon
    28 Nov 12
    5:16 pm

  69. “But the thing that irked me so much about the Facebook Privacy Scam post was the way people were willing to freely share something they clearly knew so little about, yet trusted implicitly.”

    And for our next post, here are bears shitting in woods.

  70. Don
    28 Nov 12
    5:22 pm

  71. Wow this is like facebook, only on mumbrella….

  72. Craig
    28 Nov 12
    5:38 pm

  73. Has everyone forgotten chain letters?

    Every human is selectively a moron. We tend to be morons on topics we are uninterested in, haven’t researched or where we’re told by people and institutions we trust that a given claim is true.

    In fact successful advertising relies on humans being morons – to accept claims because a dentist, doctor, mum or person in a suit on TV (or an actor paid to be a figure of trust) says so. To believe that a particular branded product will solve a particular problem (that we never knew we had) better than another branded product, made in the same factory with the same ingredients.

    So it’s a bit much to complain about it when people exhibit a behaviour that is encouraged and supported by the advertising industry.

  74. DF
    28 Nov 12
    5:41 pm

  75. @Jono

    That’s exactly right. If you don’t want to be exploited then get off the thing. Otherwise milk it for what it is.

  76. Shabbadu
    28 Nov 12
    6:19 pm

  77. Hi Craig,
    You make a great point. Then dampen it by missing the point of the article. The original title, and hopefully someone from Mumbrella HQ will verify this, was “My friend, the fegg’n idiot”. Which I thought set the piece up nicely as a light-hearted conversation starter. The title it was given, set a quite different tone. It still fit the context of the article but gave it downwards pointing eyebrows and a bit of a snarl.
    My point, considering this is a website for advertising/media/marketing professionals, was that “we” should exercise a little more care when flinging things out willy-nilly in social media. Because people, rightly or wrongly, trust our opinions/actions. That “we” was directed at my friends who acted with more speed than haste recently. Which I find to be considerably less controversial than a lawyer sharing a hoax about law to her friends. But that’s just me.

  78. Craig
    28 Nov 12
    8:34 pm

  79. Shabbadu,

    I exclude advertising/media/marketing professionals from the category of ‘trusted individuals’.

    I believe most advertising/media/marketing professionals do so as well – otherwise we’d see more commercials stating that ‘eight out of ten advertising executives recommend ‘ or use a premise of a busy female marketing executive rather than a busy mum.

    We are all people first, professionals second. Lawyers are just as likely as labourers (or ad executives) to share information erroneously believing it is factual.

    I didn’t draw the same point as you did from the article, and in fact find your point a bit ludicrous – that people, on their personal accounts, can’t be silly, make mistakes or be human because they have professional reputations to uphold.

    But that’s just me (as though using this statement – as you also did – ever excuses any kind of criticism or negative comment! It’s a furfy of a term used to attempt to separate yourself from a statement you’ve just made and a traditional trolling statement)

  80. Eridani
    28 Nov 12
    8:34 pm

  81. This is a truly brilliant article! Excellent.

  82. Hitchcock
    28 Nov 12
    9:39 pm

  83. …………..and sharing now…….

  84. Yathink I'dput myrealnamehere
    29 Nov 12
    12:09 am

  85. What I think this self-appointed pillar of wisdom completely missed is the Trust Factor. When a friend sends you something to protect himself/herself, they’re also indicating that you should use it to protect yourself equally.

    People trust their friends. And it’s up to whoever starts the trend to decide whether it’s a recommendation of a good store or service, a product like Clairol Shampoo (I told two friends, and they told two friends…), or a Ponzi scheme like Bernie Madoff’s.

    In short, for all his smarter-than-thou attitude, Chris Taylor missed the boat entirely.

    Now the big question: Am I trying to justify my own behavior for sending that scam around? No. I actually replied to several friends with the snopes.com article saying it was a fraud. But when you think about it, that concept works on the very same principle. They’re both about “spreading the word” to people who trust you.

  86. Shabbadu
    29 Nov 12
    7:24 am

  87. Hi Yathink,
    The trust factor was raised in the article. Unfortunately, as I was only given 700 words in which to fabricate my ivory tower of faux intellectualism, I wasn’t able to deep-dive every issue.
    Good on you for showing your friends the Snopes article though. Not only did you show them up for being stupid to all their friends, you showed everyone how smart you are at the same time. Wish I’d though of that.

  88. notmedialawsavvy
    29 Nov 12
    9:01 am

  89. I reposted it. Better safe than sorry I say as I’m not Media Law literate. Sorry to have caused you such a massive rant over it. Didn’t realise it would affect your life so much @ChrisTaylor

  90. South of the border
    29 Nov 12
    9:50 am

  91. I wish that snopes would do a hoax article about a hoax, so people would re-post the snopes hoax about the hoax and the space-time continuum would collapse upon itself.

  92. eaon
    29 Nov 12
    9:55 am

  93. Spot on @Matt H
    ‘It’s funny that you should say you’re “beginning to wonder how they function in normal society.” – This is exactly how they function’

    In truth, none of us thinks as much as we’d like to think we think.
    As demonstrated by Chris Taylor in this post.

  94. who-me?
    29 Nov 12
    10:53 am

  95. It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled seas of thought.
    John Kenneth Galbraith
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.
    John Kenneth Galbraith

  96. Rob
    29 Nov 12
    4:54 pm

  97. …’have we seriously reached a point in out lives where the need to be ‘first’ with shared information overrides our need to be right?’

    Since when has that not been the case?

  98. Technojames
    29 Nov 12
    5:15 pm

  99. “’have we seriously reached a point in out lives where the need to be ‘first’ with shared information overrides our need to be right?’”

    Hey Rob, you know this is a site dedicated to online media right?

  100. Rob
    29 Nov 12
    6:22 pm

  101. @technojames

    ….So I’m not to make comparisons between social media and society in general?

  102. Technojames
    30 Nov 12
    8:26 am

  103. @Rob

    I just think that horse has bolted mate. When the mainstream media has a policy of publish first and fact check second (Fairfax – Gillard broke the law was corrected yesterday as a recent example) then expecting social media users to adopt a rigorous information check is somewhat naive.

    The whole thrust of social media is now about first to the punch. And not just for personal information. The mainstream media has led the charge.

  104. Stiv
    30 Nov 12
    1:26 pm

  105. Looks like he was on the money!

    http://www.collegehumor.com/vi.....for-idiots

    Good article

  106. Cognitively DIssonant
    30 Nov 12
    1:26 pm

  107. Social Media tends to bring out the stupid in everybody.

    Oh, damn…

  108. Bitter and Twisted
    30 Nov 12
    4:41 pm

  109. There is nothing wrong with be over cautious. The one time we do ignore advise like this will be the time someone steals our identity. So what, they shared a post they didnt need to?

  110. Fred
    3 Dec 12
    11:34 am

  111. As soon as some of my trusted friends put that thing up, I did a quick Google search on the first paragraph and found it was a hoax. Took a whole 5 seconds, not that hard.

  112. Tim White
    3 Dec 12
    11:36 am

  113. The desperate need to seem cleverer than others so often makes us look desperate. Don’t you think?