Our readers should always be on the lookout for Facebook ‘like-farming’ pages that use religion to lure social media users into interacting with their spammy, clickbait content.
Like-farming spammers – those that post exploitative or deceptive content on social media to lure users into interacting with it, thus exposing those users to spam or scams – will use a variety of tactics to lure social media users into their traps. And feigning an affinity with a social media user in order to manipulate them is one such method.
And there is rarely any better affinity than that of religion. Social media users are likely to follow communities that reflect their religious values, and this is something that spammers will try to capitalise on. Religious content can also trigger more emotional responses from social media users, which again plays into the hands of spammers. This is why one of the most successful like-farming techniques is asking users to type ‘Amen’ on a post, or by asserting that “one share equals one prayer”, like below.
Facebook pages like the one in image above will manipulate a person’s religious beliefs in order to trick them into doing exactly what they want. And with like-farming, that is usually liking and sharing Facebook posts and, of course, following the Facebook page itself.
The Facebook page here continually publishes posts supposedly representative of Christianity, as well as Christian themed images and has a religious page name, Power of Prayer.
But when the above Facebook page – Power of Prayer – isn’t posting spammy clickbait posts like the one above, it’s posting fake competition posts to lure even more social media users into following their page. Like the post below.
All of the posts published by this particular page are designed to do one thing – exploit or deceive social media users into sharing their content and following their page. That is Facebook like-farming. It can, in many cases, be especially dangerous since the following that these pages will amass can be used to launch more sinister scams, or the pages can be sold to cyber crooks or spammy marketers.
Spammers will use such “affinity” techniques to help establish trust which can then be subsequently manipulated, and religion is just one – albeit prolific – example. It is important for social media users to be aware of such tactics and to apply the same critique when deciding if a social media page or post is worth interacting with, regardless of the niche of that page or post.