Dislike Facebook-based Contests

Access Denied 5x5Have you been solicited yet? Perhaps you have and you didn’t realise what you paid for the right to vote for a friend or family member who entered a Facebook-based contest. You know, those ones where people submit something—a pictures or story or something—for a chance to win (fill in the blank) and then beg everyone on their friend’s list and more to vote for them.

These fake contests are popping up more and more as Facebook encourages organisations and individuals to use them for FREE. And unfortunately suckers (sorry, but that’s what people are called who are drawn into using something who think they are the ones most benefitting when really, they’re not) are lining up to host one contest after another. And more suckers (again, sorry, but these are people who think they are either going to win something for free or those people who help others win thinking it is free when really, they are paying dearly) eagerly sign up to enter or to help their friends and family members.

Perhaps I’m being too cruel; too honest about my opinion.

I refer to these contests as fake, not because the winner doesn’t actually win something. I call them fake because of their form, both their method of engaging participants and the actual outcomes.

Let me be the first to say, Life isn’t Fair. There. We all know that. However, contests should be fair. Right? If you baked a cake and entered it into a contest and five judges tasted it and a dozen other cakes and deemed your cake to be the best tasting cake, you can be assured you do have the best tasting cake out of those twelve cakes. That’s fair (unless all the judges were related to you, were your employees or were being paid under the table to vote for you).

However, if you entered a cake and had all your friends vote it to be the best tasting cake of the lot—whether they tasted it or not—and you were popular and had hundreds of friends, your cake would win over a cake, well, let’s say a cake that might taste ten times better than your cake but it was entered by someone who either didn’t have a lot of friends or didn’t market themselves to everyone they knew to help garner votes for their prized baked good.

That’s not only not fair, but it’s a fake cake contest. This type of contest is actually evaluating your popularity, not your baking abilities. So in reality, you’re winning a popularity contest.

These voting Facebook-based contests are exactly that: a measure of someone’s popularity; they have nothing to do with entering the best cake (or video, or picture, or story). There are no impartial judges. Participants solicit their friends who are then expected to entice their friends to vote. Not vote for the best according to their opinion, but vote for that person who asked them to vote.

But that’s not the worst thing about these fake, irritating contests. The dangerous element is that everyone who votes must—MUST—give permission to the Contest Operators to access your Public Profile and Friend’s List. No thank you.

I raise sheep; I am not one.
I raise sheep; I am not one.

You could read the terms of this agreement if you have several hours to decipher the legal document, but I chose not to. Of course, there is a statement stating they just want to validate who you are to ensure you exist, but…let’s just say I don’t believe granting access to my public profile and friend’s list is in my best interest, or that of my friend’s (which consists mostly of family).

The first contest I was invited to vote in actually asked for permission to download an App, so they could access my Facebook information: friends, profile, Likes, etc. It seems more and more these days that companies/organisations want to access your personal information, and they’re finding new ways of doing it.

Unfortunately, again, I believe there will be more and more unfair, fake, Facebook-based contests in the future. I won’t however be participating.

End of rant…

Do you participate in these contests and pay for voting by willing allowing access to your public profile and friend’s list?

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4 thoughts on “Dislike Facebook-based Contests

  1. Well put, Diane. Not only do these contests do this, but also these ridiculously easy math questions or spelling challenges or sob stories about some poor unfortunate soul who needs x number of likes to have something good happen to them.
    I avoid them all. I have posted this on my facebook page to no avail. Everyday there is a list of these phishing scams.

    • Thanks, Art. While writing it, I thought I was being too harsh, but then maybe I wasn’t harsh enough. I wish these contests would stop, or at least change the need to access profiles and friend’s lists. I ignore the sob stories, too. “If I get 1000 likes, Dad will quit drugs.” I got that one several times. As if someone will quit drugs if their kids get plenty of Likes on the photo. Gosh, I often wonder who believes these things and passes them on.

      Thanks, for commenting.

  2. I never enter such contests, even though I was unaware just how thay work. Something just didn’t feel right about them. I was aware of them being about numbers but not that you had to give access to your information. Thanks for explaining.

    • Yvonne, like you, something didn’t feel right about these contests. Not until I was asked to vote for someone who entered did I learn they wanted access to my information. I thought it was just a fluke, but when someone else asked me to vote for them in another contest, the same thing happened. I really dislike this because one of the organisations that used this method was 4-H, which as we all know, concerns people from 5 to 22; the age group most vulnerable to providing too much information. Unfortunately, kids don’t think twice about clicking “okay”, not really knowing what they are permitting.

      I’m not sure if 4-H was aware of what they were exposing the kids, too, but if they did, they should have used better judgement.

      Thanks for commenting.

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