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7 most annoying viral requests people post on their Facebook pages

Annoying viral requests sent to your facebook

We’ve all experienced annoying viral requests that seem to crop out of nowhere on Facebook. The kid you sat next to in 8th grade Spanish sends you a friend request. He seems innocuous enough, but you haven’t spoken to him in decades. 

Within days, you’re flooded by his posts asking his page visitors for money or to join his MLM pyramid scheme. You don’t want to hurt his feelings and unfriend him, but you’ve rolled your eyes so hard that it gives you a migraine. You also wonder about the legitimacy of some of his reposted requests from random accounts.

How can you protect yourself from these viral demands? If you click on these posts, will you jeopardize your cybersecurity? 

Let’s take a look at seven of the most annoying viral requests that people post on their Facebook pages. And let’s see if there’s anything you can do to prevent seeing these requests.

Why viral Facebook posts can be problematic

The viral posts you see your friends share often originated somewhere else. Although Facebook may not have the prolific bot issues found on X, formerly known as Twitter, sketchy or duplicitous posts sometimes slip through security cracks on the giant social media platform.

Hackers worm their way through Facebook Messenger, typically with a malware link. Sometimes it’s something like “yOu wOn’T bElieVe who died,” other times it’s a copyright infringement scam. Then they use hacked accounts to spread malicious links. If you click on an unknown link in a message, or even in your newsfeed, sophisticated cybercriminals can gain access to your password and infiltrate your account. Then the cycle repeats.

The most annoying viral requests

Viral Facebook posts contain multitudes. For every legitimate request to join a group or donate to a good cause, 20 bogus requests crop up like weeds. The seven annoying viral requests listed below cover the largest general categories to watch out for. But there are plenty more out there.

Ye olde Farmville days and game requests

In the formative years of Facebook, one of the most annoying viral requests came from friends who played the online game Farmville. In those days, you could easily receive up to a few dozen daily Farmville requests. For those who didn’t play the game, this became extremely frustrating. 

Game requests have petered out since Farmville, but occasionally, you may still receive request notifications. Thankfully, you can remove these from your notification feed without clicking on them.

Facebook users may have breathed a collective sigh of relief when these requests finally ended. However, game requests were quickly replaced by friends tagging us in posts and soliciting us to join their MLM marketing schemes.

If you come across MLM-related content or groups that you believe are scams or fraudulent, you can report them to Facebook

MLM pyramid schemes

Throughout the years, companies like Herbalife, Vemma, and Lularoe suddenly became “side hustles” for old college acquaintances and family members. No matter how often you ignore or mute these requests, they rear their ugly heads, whack-a-mole style. MLM businesses employ questionable tactics and often dupe participants out of significant money without a return.

Facebook friends might tag their entire friends’ list in a post, asking you to become a “partner” in an MLM company selling nose hair clippers. Don’t forget to invite ten other people to get a free “Nose Hairs Be Gone!” tote bag and tee shirt!

MLM schemes may not endanger your cybersecurity, but they can harm in other ways. Should you unwittingly join an MLM group, it may wreak havoc on your bank account and email inbox. 

Vague GoFundMe requests

GoFundMe requests can prove tricky. There are many legitimate requests to donate to a struggling family or someone who has experienced a tragedy. Unfortunately, cybercriminals know how to tug on our heartstrings, too.

If you see a GoFundMe request on Facebook, ensure the validity of the request before you click on the link. For example, if information about the reason behind the request is vague, it could be a scam.

Look for a clear description of how raised funds will be used, and who’s in-charge of the fundraiser. For example, a fraudulent hacker could use valid information to create a GoFundMe, but has no relation or connection to the supposed recipients of the donations.

Misinformation posing as fact

Misinformation spreads like wildfire, or tribbles from Star Trek, on all social media sites. However, according to the journal, Nature: Human Behavior, misinformed posts masking as real news or factual information spread faster on Facebook than on any other platform. 

Viral requests share bogus news about international conflicts, COVID-19, politics, and more. We’ve all encountered friends’ posts where fantastical, and often obviously erroneous, information is shared. There’s typically an air of superiority in these posts. Often, they’re followed by a request to “educate yourself” or to take a particular stance on a hot button issue. 

Fake news posts and share requests crop up on all social media platforms. In the past several years, Facebook has exacted measures to combat fake news. However, malicious users still find ways to advance these stories.

Fear mongering urban legends

Urban legends spread throughout the world long before we had social media. Nevertheless, Facebook has helped these legends grow legs, and all too often, they’re represented as fact in viral posts.

Stories about sex traffickers in the Target parking lot, or hypodermic needles left on car windshields make their rounds, as do false tips on how to change your Facebook settings. Typically, these requests will ask you to read an article or share with others, and again, the links shared are part of a phishing scheme.

‘Share if you agree’ posts

The “share if you agree” posts, or some similar iteration, have been spread on Facebook for years. Typically, these are long-form content posts that take a stand on something we all agree on. For example, “Child Abuse is Terrible,” or “Kindness is Better than Violence.” 

These posts start with an untraceable original source, and may include suspect links to articles on shady sites attempting to perpetuate phishing scams, infect your device with malware, or other forms of cyberattacks

The original post may share a “feel good” or horrific story that cannot be verified. However, the “share if you agree” posts will always contain a call to action that attempts to guilt Facebook friends into sharing. A line like “I know my real friends will share this”  or “Only my true friends will share this” usually ends the post. 

Copy and paste pleas      

Copy and paste pleas are the annoying viral request cousins to the “share if you agree” Facebook posts. At times, the “copy and paste on your own profile” command is related to something innocuous such as sharing beautiful photos of nature.

In more common instances, copy and paste demands will include an unsourced photo of someone who has experienced a horrendous tragedy and ask you to “spread the word” about suspect fundraisers, potential criminals in the area, or other false flags.

Protect yourself from annoying viral facebook requests

How to protect your cybersecurity on Facebook   

Although you might anticipate these annoying, viral Facebook requests, they’re focused on playing to your sympathies. If you only scan quickly, your knee-jerk reaction may lead you to click on a link or share the post without doing any research first.

In order to protect your cybersecurity on Facebook and avoid these annoying requests, you should take the following steps:

  • Ensure that your security settings are private: If the posts you share on Facebook are only visible to those who are already your friends on the platform, you gain protection against hackers. If you keep your settings public, you leave yourself open to the bad actors on Facebook who are looking for someone vulnerable to attack.
  • Don’t open links from unknown sources: Cybercriminals work with increasing sophistication. A malicious link may appear to come from a news station or local newspaper. Refrain from opening the link on Facebook, and use your search engine to directly access a credible news source.
  • Vet sources: Misinformation on Facebook can serve as confirmation bias. Even if a viral request shares information that you instinctively agree with, use the Internet to vet multiple, credible sources to ensure you aren’t spreading misinformation.

How What Is My IP Address can help

As technology advances, cybersecurity threats continue to grow. The annoying, viral requests people post on Facebook can be dangerous as well.

We’re here to help you navigate around online criminals and protect your personal information. Utilize the cybersecurity tools on the What Is My IP Address homepage. And be sure to check out our blog for the latest tips and insights on how to protect yourself online.

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