Just about everyone on Facebook will have a seen a post from a friend which is clearly not original but rather like a chain letter. It’s often called a ‘viral message’. Often they have included the phrase “in honour of someone who has…” or “I’m doing this for a friend to show…“.
In almost all cases, it asks you to ‘copy and paste this as your status and NOT share it.’
So why is that? Why don’t they want you to click the share button? It’s certainly much easier to share a post then copy the text and create a new post of your own. I bet if you asked your friend why they don’t want you to click share, I bet they won’t be able to tell you why. Today’s blog post explains why.
Sharing The Post
If you click “share” on your friend’s post, the only ones who will see it are those people with whom your friend shares posts. Your friends who are NOT friends with person whose post you are sharing will NOT see it. Confused? Think of it this way: if you have 100 friends but you only have 15 common, then only those 15 will see the post when you share it. In addition, if the original post is removed, then ALL the shares from other people are deleted as well.
If you’re trying to spread a message far and wide (regardless of the content), it’s not a very effective way of doing it.
Copy and Paste
If you copy the text and paste it into a NEW post on YOUR profile then ALL of your friends have the potential to see it. We say ‘potential’ as there’s no guarantee they will, due to other factors (their timeline settings, the ability to be a ‘friend’ but not follow’ etc. but that’s a subject for another post).
If you have 100 friends, that’s a potential 100 people who will see it. If all those 100 friends then did the same as you, then all their friends could see the post. It’s easy to see how quickly the number of duplicate posts will spread. If you delete your post, the other 99 who copy and pasted your post will still be there.
If the post is a scam or just simply untrue, then it is very hard to find out who started it in the first place.
Remember the advice your parents gave you? If your friends jumped off a cliff would you do it too? It’s exactly the same here.
Stop and think before you copy and paste a viral message. Is there any actual positive effect of sharing it in the first place? If not, then don’t. You may be doing more harm than good.
Of course, you are more than welcome to SHARE this post. You can do so by clicking the buttons below.