According to a post on a tech blog in the UK, rather scary looking flying spiders are due to invade the UK this year! As I live in the UK, this doesn’t sound like a good thing.
However, this post, like so many on the web (ha ha), wasn’t all it was claiming to be and it’s all a bit of genius!The post entitled ‘Early Summer threatens UK with Volat-Araneus (The Flying Spider)’ was on March 10th over on the blog ‘Digital Plumbing’. This might seem a strange subject for a company that offers tech support services, but that was kind of the point.
The article was in fact a complete fake — but a fake with a purpose. Under some scary looking pictures, text, quotes and stats came the real explanation for the post:
This article is one of thousands designed to do one thing, get your attention so you’ll visit the website (or worse). Before we continue, we need to apologise. We are sorry, but the story above is not real (if you hadn’t already realised). We have intentionally swindled you but we are truly, truly sorry. But unlike some other sites, at least we’re honest about it. We’re not trying to rob you, we’re trying to help you. – Gandalf – The Lord of The Rings
We needed to get your attention because we want to help you, we are a company offering technology repairs and other services. Some of the most common issues we encounter are “Slow PC’s”, you’re probably familiar with this yourself. No matter what we do to resolve the issue, it can come back within a few weeks or even sooner. People always ask us, how does this stuff get on my PC in the first place? The answer has never been simple to explain, so we figured we’ll just show you.
Using a fake ‘scary’ post to educate people about fake scary posts — genius!
It was so great, that it went viral — as shown by an analytics screenshot on their Facebook page.
I throughly recommend reading the full post — for the comedy of the scary spiders and the brilliant explanation of how and why they did it!
With fake and ‘shocking’ posts now being a common way for the bad guys to get ‘drive by’ infections, and with sharing so easy and the norm these days, it’s our jobs as ‘the church tech guys’ to help educate people to these kinds of tricks. I’ll be bookmarking the flying spider post as an example to show people all those shocking post/pictures and videos are great things to be sharing like mad around Facebook and Twitter (as well good old Snopes – in fact in a rather meta thing – I actually first saw the Flying Spider post on Snopes!)
How do you explain these types of things to people?
Do you have any favourite sites to warn/educate people?
[Image and quote via Digital Plumbing]