Horrific photo forced photographer to kill himself? Don’t be too quick to click
One that I have seen crop up a lot, is appearing in the status updates of Facebook users with phrases like:
This horrific photo forced photographer to kill himself! http://tinyurl.com/VerySadPhoto
This horrific photo forced photographer to kill himself! http://tinyurl.com/HorriblePic
Clicking on links like these can take you to Facebook pages which names such as “Man Commits Suicide 3 Days After Taking This Photo”.
These Facebook pages force you to first “Like” them and then republish the link on your own Facebook page (advertising it to your online friends) before you eventually get to see the photograph.
Just ask yourself this – do you really want to recommend a page to your friends, before you know what lies behind it? For all you know, you could be passing on a link which will ultimately take your online pals to a phishing page or malware.
As it happens, the pages are lying in any case.
The photograph – of an emaciated young girl in Sudan – was taken in March 1993 by prize-winning South African photo-journalist Kevin Carter. Carter did kill himself – but it was over a year later in South Africa, not three days after the photo was taken as claimed by the Facebook links.
You can probably imagine, however, that people would easily agree to publish the link to all their friends – in their morbid interest to see the photo – and thus help it spread quickly.
In fact, it’s no surprise that links like these are spreading so quickly and virally across Facebook, when popular pages such as “I like your makeup…LOL JK, it looks like you got gangbanged by Crayola” (currently 1.7 million fans and counting) have republished it to all of their followers.