Likes, Dislikes, And Phony Facebook Apps

There appears to be no end to the ingenuity of scammers, spammers, and computer tricksters.  After the tales of woe from the likes of Ethiopian bankers and Hong Kong divorcees get long in the tooth, the scammers try something different.  There’s nothing newsworthy about new computer schemes . . . unless they have an implicit social commentary message.

So it is with the news stories about a scam that tries to trick Facebook users into installing a “dislike” button to accompany the “like” button on their Facebook page.  If the hapless users do so, the scam puts some false application on their Facebook page that then sends out spam.

What’s interesting about this is that, in the abstract, virtual, touchy-feely world of Facebook “friends,” users would want to have a Facebook application to affirmatively indicate their “dislike” for something.  What’s next?  A rogue application that offers Facebook users the opportunity to refer to themselves in the first person?  A phony program that claims to allow Facebook users to send targeted, anonymous computer viruses to try to discourage further Facebook use by people, like their Mom or Aunt Sue, whom they really don’t want to “friend” but can’t turn down without experiencing massive pangs of guilt?  Facebook users may well have untapped reservoirs of rage, ready to be exploited by the next generation of creative scammers.

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