The image above has appeared multiple times on my Facebook newsfeed recently.
Yes, the girl is adorable and she deserves to hear it. Unfortunately, all the “likes” and comments will never reach her because the image was stolen from this website and the poster has no connection to the girl. The photo (as well as everything else on this Facebook profile) is posted specifically to generate traffic. The person who posted it is a “Like Farmer”.
Like Farmers fall into a spectrum from harmless annoyance to outright criminals. They deliberately post provocative content unrelated to the profile/page owner to generate a lot of traffic on their profile or page. The least offensive of these people do it to see how high their numbers can get, an ego stroke of sorts.
On the other hand, there are criminals who will post content specifically to generate as much traffic as they can. When they feel they have acquired enough traffic they will sell the page to people who change the page content and use it to spread malware, scam advertising, or collect people’s information, among other things.
These types of posts are easy to spot. They generally involve statements like “Like and Share to win a FREE car!”, “This child will get a life saving surgery for 100,000 Likes!”. Some, like the photo above, are a little more innocuous. If in doubt, take a quick look at the original poster’s profile. If it is almost entirely provocative content it’s probably a Like Farmer. There will be little to no personal content; no comments about their life, or photos of family or pets.
If you find you have liked or friended a Like Farmer, unfriend, unike, and delete any shared content to prevent exposing yourself and your friends to possible threats.