A couple of days ago, I got invited to join a “cause” to gift 1 book to a kid on my list and eventually receive 36 new books that I can give to my son. The cause is quite noble albeit shady in many respects. (I’ll get in to the “shady” part later.) Heck – even my wife got into it, and even posted it on her Facebook wall.
Here are the instructions that was sent to me by my friend. My wife later confirmed that she received the same thing.
Here come the shady parts…
- I am asked to send 1 book to someone I actually don’t know. My knowledge of that kid’s address is quite alarming, and if I were a child predator, this situation would have been an opportunity for me to prey on someone. This is theoretical, but the possibility isn’t very remote.
- Notice that chain-letter-statement “Then send this info to 6 dad or moms or dad/moms-to-be (or grannies!) with the updated name info”? This is something that we all have to take look deeper before succumbing to any “deals” or “transactions”. The supposed task of telling more people about it, and divulging your own information to them (and eventually to more people) should be dealt with extreme caution. The latter is considered a ‘red flag’, especially when there is sensitive information involved.
- Apparently, there is a Book Exchange Request spiel (Refer to #5) that’s required to be done to – again – let more people know. Those who will reply and like the “request” are considered “engaged users” to the post. In the realm of social media, engaged users have a lot of weight in KPIs, and considered as a determining factor to the realization of a specific campaign.If I were to consider this as campaign to fuel my malicious intentions, those who liked and commented (in gratiam) are my potential victims.
- Options. Options. Options. There are several options for you to proceed. You can send it via mail using a manila envelop, or order it directly to Amazon or Barnes and Noble and have the books sent to someone’s kid. I can really see how cool and noble this campaign is, but is there a way we can proceed without going through such painstaking and risky process of sending a book? How about organizing an offline book-gifting campaign instead? Yeah, that might a lot difficult to mount, but probably a lot safer.
- “36 books for giving just one!” really sounds like a great deal but what will happen if people suddenly stop doing this? According to Yahoo.com, this supposed gifting-scam has been happening since October. There’s one catch though – the original “campaign” doesn’t involve books but gifts worth $10 each. It has a very cool and catchy name too – Secret Sister Gift Exchange.
In the article posted by Yahoo, University of South Florida mass communications instructor, Kelli Burns told WFLA-TV (an NBC company), “We’re just seeing this on Facebook this time instead of the old way of using letters.” She said that since this is against Facebook’s Terms and Conditions, people who have posted this on their Facebook page could result to losing their Facebook account. Well, we don’t want to happen, right?
What do you think about the above insights, guys? Did you receive or see anything similar on your Facebook Wall?