Scroll through a few of the posts on this blog and you will almost certainly notice a common trait amongst all of the Facebook hoaxes: CAPITAL LETTERS. I’m hardly the first person to point this out, but a seriously high number of Facebook hoaxes (and scams on other social networking sites as well) are typed in all caps.

Why?  I’m somewhat befuddled by this phenomenon until I start thinking outside of my own world.

Here’s my best guess: hoaxmongers use all caps as a way to grab the user’s attention. If they could change the text to bright pink, I bet that they’d do that too.

What’s so strange about the all caps phenomenon, though, is that it attracts the wrong kind of attention. Few people see an Fb post written in all caps and think “oh, my. I must pay extra special attention to this one.” If you are anything like me, you’re response is the exact opposite. It’s like when I see some crazy guy yelling on the street corned. I kind of glance his way for a second because of the loud noise, but then I steer clear of him exactly because of the loud noise. His poor communication skills encourage me to assume that he’s crazy, so I never give his words any merit.

I always have to remind myself, though, that hoaxmongers aren’t trying to target tech savvy Facebook users. They’re looking for the newbs. Children who’re still gullible enough to believe in fairy tales, teenagers who think that their lives depend on knowing the latest celebrity gossip, and grannies who are scared enough of their computers in the first place and, therefore, think that they need to read every stupid warning that comes their way.

Once you step outside of the tech world and start looking at Fb scams from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know squat, you see how many potential problems there are in the virtual world. The answer, as with so many other problems, is education.

It’s probably not possible to create a world of 100 percent tech savvy Facebook users. Here’s an idea, though. How about a utopian social networking site that only gives memberships to applicants who can pass a test about basic technology. You wouldn’t have to write code or anything, just answer a few questions to make sure that you know how to use common sense online.

Is it elitist? Well, yeah. That’s the point!

It’s also probably somewhat of an impossibility, at least if we’re talking about a free service. So, it looks like we’re back to education. Or we’ll just have to tolerate more messages such as SEE JESSICA ALBA TOTALLY NAKED!!!!!!!!!!!111 ADF FIND OUT HER SECRETE TURN ONES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111

What fun.


~ by facebookhoaxes on July 6, 2010.

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