Facebook posts that claim you can make a digital spider appear on your screen by liking, sharing and commenting #spider on the post are going viral.
The claims are not true. Asserting that Facebook users can make some kind of digital animal appear on their screens by engaging with a Facebook post appears to be the latest variant of a process we call like-farming. Like-farming is the process of tricking Facebook users into engaging with a Facebook post using either deception or exploitation.
In this case it is deception, since liking, sharing and commenting on a Facebook post does not result in any kind of digital insect, arachnid or any other type of animal appearing on your screen. The post is simply trying to lure the reader into liking/sharing/commenting on it so it goes viral across Facebook. The effect showed in the post is achieved by installing a prank mobile app that is available from either Google Play or from the Apple iTunes store.
The below post has accumulated many hundreds of thousands of shares using this tactic –
Type #spider in the comments below ⤵️ then like and share 👀in order to see the spider 🕷 ( MUST LIKE AND SHARE THEN COMMENT #spider OR IT WILL NOT WORK )
Similar posts have aimed to use the same technique to attract engagement. A previous example claimed typing in #ran would result in a snake appearing on your screen. Another claimed to result in a mouse appearing on the screen.
This is an example of “look what happens” like-farming. This type of like-farming will claim that by interacting with a Facebook post in some way, something extraordinary or “amazing” will happen. This social engineering trick lures users into interacting with a post, and when the user realises it is all a sham, it is too late, since the engagement on the post has already registered.
These posts seem to be used by silly Facebook profiles looking for attention and to attract followers.
However like-farming is a serious business and is used to exploit and deceive Facebook users, launch serious online scams including identity theft and even pocket money for cyber-crooks. Facebook users should never engage with Facebook posts if they believe they are being exploited or misled in any way.