Regular users of Facebook have likely come across a type of post quite similar to this: “This child has cancer, Facebook will donate $1 for every share this picture receives!” Not only this is a blatant lie, but by sharing these types of photos, you are actually doing a very bad thing, even though you may not realize it quite yet.
By Sharing, You Are Supporting The Scam
The creators of these types of hoaxes know that Facebook will not and does not donate any money based on any number of likes, shares, comments, etc, that a post, photo, or event has. The creators of these photos are simply posting these photos to gain attention to themselves. By sharing or liking their photo, you’re doing just that – giving them the attention they want. This encourages more people to start these type of hoaxes, seeing that they’ve been successful for others. Remember, a share or a like does not gain anything for the child at all.
Not only do the sharers and likers not help the child, they actually hurt it. It’s very likely that the picture of the sick child was not posted on the internet with the parent’s permission, let alone to be spread around for hundreds of thousands of people to view. Unauthorized sharing of these types of personal images can even cause great distress to the child’s family. After all, having a sick child is enough stress itself. Having the entire world know about it makes it even worse.
What You Can Do
Luckily, the staff of Facebook have realized that posts like these are becoming a huge issue. They have encouraged reporting of these posts so they can be taken off before too many people see them. If you see one of these posts, please do the child’s family a favor and report the photo as soon as you see it. Additionally, you can message the original poster of the photo, and let them know that what they are doing is a hoax and that it is wrong to do it. Why not do them a favor and show them this article? 😉
Want to know what will actually help sick children? Donating to charities that actually work to make a difference. Companies like Starlight Baby promise to donate a percentage of their profits to charity, so if you’re going to buy childrens products anyway, you may as well make a difference at the same time if you don’t wish to donate directly.