Daily Archives

February 24, 2016

How to not click on ridiculous spam online, and why it is actually ethically questionable to do so. – Guest Post By Nessa Wilson

By | online safety | No Comments

It’s an image that pulls at your heart strings: the pictures of a sick child in a hospital bed, or more frequently, the random photo of a person with a heart wrenching message written beneath it.

All of these posts have something in common: they all ask for the reader’s support and compassion, prayers and compassion. “Like” to show that you care, “share” to send a message that this person is in your thoughts, and reply with “amen” to show your support.

But then there’s the truth:

A recent article by Bankrate found that one of the most popular pictures circulating on Facebook was that of a cancer-ridden child in her cheer leading uniform, asking the world for prayers and compassion. All without the permission, or knowledge, of her family.

We have now entered the world of Facebook “like” farming.spam

Enter the waves of sickeningly-sweet posts that fill your news feed with requests for prayers, shares- and most importantly, likes. At its best, these threads are used to help bolster a stranger’s ego. At its worst, they’re used to by professional scammers to steal user information for quick cash.

How does it work?

Asking for likes on a picture in Facebook is called Click Farming.

Scammers are able to use this method to change the content to something different from what was initially posted. They do this in order to send advertising, or to gather user information. The scammer gets paid based on the number of people receiving the advertising, or liking/sharing the post.

Encouraging Virtual Slavery

An independent investigation by The Guardian found a “Click Farm” workshop in Bangladesh. Workers would work three-shift systems for as little as $3/day to generate fake Facebook popularity for a variety of items and vegetables. This is miserable work for workers: sitting infront of screens in filthy rooms with windows covered by bars. At times, working throughout the night to generate 1,000 likes or 1,000 followers on Twitter to earn a single US dollar.

“There’s a real desire amongst many companies to boost their profile on social media, and find other customers as well as a result,” said Graham Cluley, an independent security consultant.

This belief isn’t unfounded. Research has found that at least 31% of consumers will check ratings and reviews, including likes and Twitter followers, before investing in a product or service.

Click Farms, such as these, play a significant role in potentially misleading consumers. Many companies rely heavily on the social media measurements to estimate the popularity of their products. Major search engines, like Google and Yahoo!, use tools like Facebook liking and social media to gauge the popularity of websites.

It Gets Worse

Sometimes, the threat to users can be more direct.

Edited Facebook threads circulating the internet could spread dangerous malware ( malicious software that can attack someone’s computer), or used for phishing. Phishing attempts to trick the reader into giving out valuable personal information like passwords, credit card numbers or bank account information.

While simple Facebook liking or sharing a post or liking a page won’t spread a virus or malware, malicious Facebook apps and external links can.

Your Personal Information isn’t so Personal

Page owners and other users can collect data on the people who like their post. The information that they can gather can include names, gender, location and places of employment, which they can use or sell to companies for profit.

Users Beware

There’s no end to the pictures: it’s an image of a premature baby, military troops to photos of un-vaccinated children falling ill.

It’s anything that will pull at the heart strings: scammers strike where people are vulnerable, and play on their emotions.

What To Do

Due to Facebook’s sheer size, it takes a lot of reports to have a misleading or offending post removed. Overall, the best approach is to think before sharing.

If it sounds too good to be true, and it looks like it’s something geared towards tugging on the heart strings, don’t click on it. Check it out first. Protect your privacy.

Bankrate: http://www.bankrate.com/financing/identity-protection/scam-alert-beware-facebook-like-farming/

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Broken system, flawed expectations

By | Healthcare Policy, Nursing, Uncategorized | No Comments


Ever since ZdoggMD gave us his thoughts on the ZVlogg yesterday, I have been considering the implications of our present situation from a wider camera angle.

The healthcare system we are currently operating in is completely broken. We are expected to triple document everything in the black hole EHR.  We are taking care of more patients, rounding hourly with almost no support staff, and giving bedside care that is reminiscent of a hotel concierge. We are exhausted.a3784f3c67e6a4883eeef691cba9d93f

And if an error is made or a ball is dropped, we are often crucified. Because we are ‘easy to replace’. Or so they think. Mostly because they have no real and recent connection to the bedside.  Some of ‘them’ have never actually used the EHR as part of their practice. They have never had to live with hourly rounding.  And when they were at the bedside we still had support staff.

The retention of experienced, calm, and knowledgeable nurses is completely undervalued by the healthcare system. New graduate nurses are our bright and enthusiastic future. However, someone has to help them along and give them the benefit of their experience. They simply have no idea how nursing and patient care actually work. The utopia of nursing school simply does not exist where actual patients are involved.  

I have precepted and mentored. My mentors were wonderful people who are still in my life. I have no idea what the mortality rate would have been if I had been dumped in the ICU with my nursing school knowledge and my enthusiasm, but it would have been tragic.3ee362637779cdd6a98b21ce12ff0b16

Like medicine, nursing requires a heck of a lot of on the job training. While nursing schools often talk new graduates into believing that they are ready for entry-level patient care, they are incorrect and the rest of us know it. You must have training and advice for everything from time management to how to make the IV pump stop beeping. In response, the experienced nurse is given the satisfaction of knowing he made a difference in nursing, and sometimes a dollar an hour. Also, a heavier assignment ‘because there are two of you’.

Thanks for that.

So, when you throw all of these things together. the gumbo you have prepared is a disaster.  It is like breaking a pitcher, and then attempting to fill it with water and expecting it to function optimally.  There are too many negatives, not enough positives, and the integrity of the structure is crumbling.  We are told that we are ‘tough and can take it’.  And we feel like complete failures when these overwhelming assignments rise up and swallow us.  When people get pressure ulcers, or aren’t cared for well enough.  When people die of neglect.

Not Fair.  Not Responsible.  Not Morally Right.

Not Nursing’s Fault.

What can you do to change these dangerous practices?  How can you make sure the public knows they are in danger? How do you send a message to healthcare organizations that they will have to put that seven figure bonus they had earmarked for the CEO into direct care staff salaries instead?51b0e99297fa3.preview-620

Join SMYS For Change by clicking on this line.  Besides a National Rally, we are planning rallies at State Capitals to bring awareness to the public.  We are working on local issues. Let your voice be heard.

Join the Rally for National Nurse to Patient Ratios by clicking on this line.  This is where the DC Rally headquarters live.

Encourage friends to join these groups and become active.  Notify your local media that staffing levels are unsafe. Network with local nurses at one of our meetups.  ORGANIZE A meetup!

Nurses are awful at advocating for themselves.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  Change the culture of nursing for your patients.  You will never be sorry.





#NursesUnite #NursesTakeDC



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