What's up with the stupid Facebook "tests"?

On my friends’ statuses, I see two things over and over:

A grid of letters, like a “find the word” puzzle. You’re supposed to post in the comments the first word you see. It’s always blatantly obvious, and only reveals that people read top to bottom, left to right. Duh.

A brain teaser like “name a state that doesn’t contain the letter “E” Betcha can’t!”. Uh…California?

I suspect a scam, so I’ve never bothered posting my answers. Am I right?

I don’t think it’s a scam. I just think there’s a whole lot of stupid people on Facebook who share things without even thinking about it.

Nope, it’s a scam to game the rating system on Facebook and make money for the owners. There’s an active thread somewhere on the site that has a link describing how/why these are created.

  1. Create an innocent-looking “contest” page on Facebook.
  2. Ask everyone to Like it or Share it.
  3. Sell the page to some company, which then takes down the stupid content and posts their spam and ads to the 11 jillion people who “Liked” the game.
  4. Profit!

Learn something new every day.

Recent (Tuesday) GQ thread on this.

I’ve wondered that too. I also wonder about the sanity of my friends who comment on them. Evidently the things show up on my news feed because “so-and-so” (a FB friend) “commented on this”. Why are the people I think are relatively intelligent being sucked into those stupid things?

The one that most recently made me weep was the one that went something like this: “Name three words that both start and end with the letter ‘R’!!”, mainly because of the next line: “If you can, your a genius!!” (underlining mine)

Um, OK.

In that earlier thread about this, someone said it was called “status farming”. I’ve searched for something that explains it, so that I can post it to my wall so that my friends that do this or reply to it can see what it is, but I can’t really find anything. But I do believe that it’s done for nefarious purposes, because as stupid as people are, this is just too stupid.

ETA: Now I see that a later thread, from 4/30, does contain a link to explain some of these status things… not sure if most of my FB friends are smart enough to understand what this explanation is saying, but I’ma post it anyway.

Sounds probable. I see a large number of them reposted by friends, and a large number of them are originally posted by radio stations. If they can point to “look how many online people are aware of us and interact with us,” they can then justify higher ad rates for online streaming when their broadcast ratings have gone down… I imagine Dale’s Brake Shop or the I-890 Interchange Fireworks Mart isn’t likely to do the snooping and discover the numbers are artificially inflated.