Can you believe it's been more than a year since Facebook Live was launched? It's a great way for you to watch live streaming videos of your friends or celebrities that you follow. There's even a Facebook Live Map page that helps you find live videos from across the globe.
There is actually a video going viral right now and millions of people have already watched it. There's one problem, it's not real.
How Facebook Live video is tricking millions of people
We're talking about a "video" of a beautiful storm that is popping up on most Facebook users' News Feeds. If you haven't seen the video show up in your News Feed yet, you will. It's a majestic view of a colorful storm cloud circling in the sky.
Unfortunately, the video is not real. A Facebook page, dubbed "Newsfeed," turned a heavily doctored weather GIF into a video. It put the GIF on a loop and streamed it for four hours on Facebook Live.
The video has already received over 19 million views, almost 400,000 shares and 275,000 comments. Now that's what I call viral!
The GIF originally was posted on Twitter by user @planetepics. Here is the original post:
Majestic South Dakota tornadic supercell caught on camera by Marko Korosec pic.twitter.com/Zgi0JS62oK
— Life on Earth (@planetepics) July 18, 2017
We told you earlier this week about a study that showed most people can't detect fake images from real ones. This incident just strengthens that theory.
Now we don't know why Newsfeed ran this for four hours as a live video. It could be just a harmless post showing off its creativity. However, anytime something like this goes viral, there's always the possibility it's a like-farming scam.
Like-farming is exactly what it sounds like. Scammers post something on Facebook for the purpose of cultivating likes and shares. Based on the way the social media site works, the more likes and shares a post has, the more likely it is to show up in people's News Feeds.
This gives the swindler more viewers for posts that trick people out of information or send them to sites containing malicious downloads. The original post most likely has nothing dangerous about it. Only after the post gets a certain number of likes and shares does the scammer edit it and add something malicious.
How to handle fake posts on Facebook
If you see fake posts like this in your News Feed, it's a good idea to report it to Facebook. That could help stop it from spreading more widely.
Here are the steps to report a post:
- Click the downward pointing arrow in the top-right corner of the post.
- Click Report post or Report photo.
- Select the option that best describes the issue and follow the on-screen instructions.