A website that purposely created a fake story about a flying spider to help educate people about not believing everything they see on Facebook once again highlights the short attention span in the instant-gratification social media era.
The people behind the website digitalplumbinguk.com, a PC repair site, are certainly not the first people in the world to use a fake story to lure vistors to their website.
But in their defence, after a few paragraphs of fairytale nonsense about the “flying spider”, a.k.a. the Volate-Araneus, they came clean and admitted the entire story was just a ruse to lure people to their site.
The article went on to provide some helpful tips on how to avoid the recent trend of Facebook share-to-watch scams that lure victims into sharing spammy content, completing spammy questionnaires and even installing malicious software onto their computers.
However the ruse has once again highlighted the short attention span of some users who, after likely reading only the first few paragraphs, have shared the story onto their timelines under the assumption that the story is true.
Ourselves and other debunking sites have also received several queries, questioning whether flying spiders are indeed making their way to the UK this summer.
To put your mind at ease, the answer is no. The story is false. There are no such things as flying spiders.
Social media users are advised not only to research the legitimacy of a story before sharing, but to read the entire story before sharing as well. If not only to avoid some unwelcome blushes.
And to reiterate the advice given on the webpage in question, as well as advice given on this site numerous times as well, never share content on your Facebook timeline in order to watch it.