Written by Bella Dalima
22 Jan, 2014 | 4:20 pm
It’s an image that tugs at the heartstrings. A smiling 7-year-old girl poses in her cheerleading uniform, circled by a ring of pompons, her bald head a telltale sign of her chemotherapy treatments.
The photo hit Facebook last year and popped up all over with messages of support. “Like” to show this little girl you care. “Share” to tell her she’s beautiful. Pray for her to beat cancer.
But here’s the truth. The photo was nearly six years old. And neither the girl, nor her parents — who never posted it to Facebook — had any idea it was being used that way.
Those waves of saccharin-sweet posts that sometimes fill your news feed may seem harmless. But all too often, they’re being used for nefarious purposes. At best, a complete stranger may be using the photos to stroke their own ego. At worst, experts say, scammers and spammers are using Facebook, often against the site’s rules, to make some easy cash.
And they’re willing to play on the good intentions of Facebook users to do it.
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