Like many people of an inherently cynical nature, the fact Facebook only allows you to express your "Like" on various topics, posts, and advertisements irks me. I know I'm not alone, and so do Facebook scammers, which is why the latest viral "Dislike button" scam has spread so quickly.
Facebook Security has issued an official warning about the bogus Dislike button scam. (Of course, this was after Sophos Security researcher Graham Cluley blogged about it and major media outlets like CNN picked it up. You get the feeling the Facebook Security guys spend most of their time riding around the building on Segways and playing with their tasers?)
The scam starts with a fake status update from someone you know who's been infected (like "Get the official DISLIKE button NOW!") followed by a short URL. Click the URL and you're prompted to install that ersatz Dislike button app.
(Image courtesy of Graham Cluley's blog.)
Installing the app merely changes your status to the same "Get the official...." line so it can spread itself to all your other cynical friends and associates.
As Cluley explains:
"But you still haven't at this point been given a "Dislike" Facebook button, and the rogue application requires you to complete an online survey (which makes money for the scammers) before ultimately pointing you to a Firefox browser add-on for a Facebook dislike button developed by FaceMod.
As far as we can tell, FaceMod aren't connected with the scam - their browser add-on is simply being used as bait."
This scam also apparently has nothing to do with the Facebook account named Dislike Button, which has garnered more than 3 million fans. There's proof I'm not alone. That would be comforting, if I wasn't such a curmudgeon. Heck, I'd even settle for an "Indifferent" button.
(FYI, click the photos tab on that Dislike Button page you'll find many pictures of extremely underdressed women with captions directing you to their various porn sites. And you wonder why I'm cynical.)
To recap: Yes, a Dislike button is a fine idea. But not that Dislike button. Remember, there's a reason "Facebook apps" rhymes with "crap for saps."