Wednesday, 26 October 2016


The story goes like this.

A man was sitting on a bench at the railway station, eating a bag of chips. One or two seagulls arrived and the man started throwing the odd chip to them. This attracted more seagulls until eventually there were about twenty of them flapping around and waiting to be fed. As the train pulled into the station, he stayed where he was but as the doors were closing, he threw the bag with the remaining chips into the train carriage followed by the flock of seagulls. The doors closed with the seagulls inside: pandemonium. 

This story, I am assured, never happened and I'm sure it never will. Who would be so irresponsible as to cause such distress to all those train passengers, not to mention the seagulls? And did any of those gulls have tickets? I don't think so.

I certainly have no intention of ever doing anything like this and hope no-one else does either. If you do though, can you video it please - just so we can all see just what a complete bastard you are.


Today, I received one of those dammed click bait scam Facebook posts appealing to me to type "amen" if God had protected me while driving. Accompanying it was a picture of a  car crash scene that had been set up for a film or TV production set. (Not this picture, I have already deleted the post; this is just to give you an idea).

Apart from the obvious response that the accident was probably caused by some idiot typing "amen" on his phone when he should have been looking where he was going, I still get frustrated by the sheer number of people who respond to this type of scam; it had over 50,000 shares.

You can see how, in this case, the scammer responsible for this particular post could create an emotional appeal to anyone who had been involved in a traffic accident or narrowly avoided one. They may well feel it appropriate to express some act or display of gratitude for surviving the experience.

Now I'm no expert in these matters, not being of a religious persuasion, but I can't imagine God needing to check his Facebook page to find out if you appreciate His divine intervention and, that being the case, how would typing "amen" on a Facebook post help?

Similarly, it's unlikely that Jesus is going to wait till he gets enough "likes" before curing that sick child.

Everyone who uses social media and especially those who think they may be susceptible to emotional appeals should take the time to read a couple of excellent articles posted on the website.

Below is an extract from an article by their writer Craig Charles. You can read the two articles here and here.

"So what are you really doing when you type in ‘Amen’?

While you may think you are somehow helping or at least showing empathy, what you’re really doing is helping immoral like-farmers exploit Facebook users to make money, by causing a photo to spread online that has most likely been stolen elsewhere from the Internet and used without permission.

The next time you see a post imploring you to type ‘Amen’ in to the comments, think twice. Is it really because the post is empathetic to the cause in question, or do the people behind the post just want it to go viral across Facebook with your help?" (Craig Charles -

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