If we use Facebook’s social network, it’s very likely that someone will share missing persons information every day. Sharing on Facebook is great if what you’re sharing is useful and true.
I just don’t understand how interested some people are in sharing images of missing people when in most cases it’s useless. And it’s useless because the information being shared is false or out of date.
The problems of share on Facebook
These days I’ve been reviewing these kinds of publications. I have investigated them and come to this series of conclusions:
- The missing person has already appeared but the alert is still shared because the initial publication is not deleted.
- It’s a disappearance it’s years ago but someone shared it recently and we think it’s current.
- The publication about the disappearance is from years ago but people don’t look at the date.
- No information of any kind is given on how to report if you’ve seen it. All the post says is that you share it. You think sharing that on your facebook is going to show up?
- In a publication of the police the same they create an image with text saying that a person is missing and contact details. Then you realize that they put in text (edited the original post) “Person already located”, but people only look at the image and share it non-stop.
Examples of share on Facebook
I’m going to share posts that are uploaded to Facebook right now and that have to do with what I’ve put in earlier. Share on facebook has this issues.
I’ve blurred the girl’s image for privacy reasons. The following publication draws attention to the following:
- In the image it was created with an image editor to add the text. We don’t know who did this. It says “he ran away from home yesterday” without a date. I have to believe that the date is that of the post, but the person who shares it says nothing about whether he knows this person or whether that text image was created by her.
- It gives a very vague description that can fit into 2,000 people you see daily in a big city.
- He says “this is the photo the police have” but does not provide the link to the police post.
In the post there is a response from a person who says it has already been localized. It has been shared 7289 times and is still shared. If the person who owns the post deleted this post it would no longer be shared and the string would be broken.
This is a publication by the National Police itself. The post has been edited and put “Alert OFF”, however, people only look at the image with the information and don’t notice that comment. If they ask me for advice, what I would do would be:
- Delete the post so that it is no longer shared.
- If you don’t want to delete the post, I’d put the date I edited the post and make it clear that you no longer need to share it. Something like“Update on xx xx date of xxxx, Alert OFF. Thank you for collaborating, you don’t need to keepsharing.”
“Sharedemic,” share on Facebook without control
I call this “sharedemic”, sharing without control, expanding as a virus an empty message. Technology platforms should have tools to prevent such viral messages. They have to invent a vaccine so that when a missing person shows up, the original alert post can no longer be shared.
I understand that there are algorithms of all kinds that check our behavior and spy on what we do. An algorithm or tool should be created for the platform itself to notify us when we share such messages. Let the platform itself verify that the information is truthful.
Consequences of sharing these posts
By sharing such posts you contribute to the spread of false or non-truthful information. You waste the time of your friends or acquaintances who read that information and may be tempted to share it too, the creation of a chain.
Often these publications serve to increase the author’s ego. There are people who want to feel viral and the more likes and times they share their post the better they will feel. They’re posts that practically force you to share them. Well, I’m sorry to tell you, it’s a bad idea to share those empty posts.
Also keep in mind that there is also a danger that there will be people collecting data from people who share a post and can subsequently bulk send spam. If your spam folder suddenly starts having messages, one cause may be that your name or email has entered a string and someone has taken the trouble to add it to a fake or virusy email sending database.
Social media is an inexhaustible source of information and misinformation. We are surrounded by a mountain of data and information from any site we visit when browsing the Internet. A lot of times that information is not truthful and we don’t checkit. We don’t have time at all because we waste time on things that make us waste that time.
We all want to help and often see ourselves in the obligation, in good faith, to share posts of all kinds. If you want to do it okay, do it, but take a moment to check it out. If after that check you understand that what you’re going to do is useful, you’re free to do it.
Posts looking for easy sharing should be reviewed by platforms like Facebook, Twitter or the like. It should be notified in some way that it no longer needs to be shared. Don’t share missing people’s posts, even if the police ask you to. Check things twice, look at the date, and if you want to share it in the end, do it, but don’t give it to the share button because it does.
We live in a time when people share everything on Facebook: joys, sadness, photos, news, etc., but don’t forget that there are some things you should never share on Facebook if you haven’t thoroughly reviewed them.