New Low: Clickjackers Capitalize on Death of British Pilot

Last weekend a British pilot died after his plane crashed during a Red Arrow display at the Bournemouth Air Festival. He had family and friends and people who loved him. As far as clickjackers were concerned, though, he mostly had earning potential.

Not long after the crash was reported, a Facebook message started circulating that promised to show video of the accident. Regardless of how compassionate most people are (thousands joined a Facebook group showing support for the pilot’s family), they also have a tendency to stare at car crashes and watch movies like Jackass, where people get hurt in supposedly hilarious ways. They just can’t not look at something spectacular, even when the event was tragic.

Clicking on the video link, however, doesn’t take you to a YouTube video. Clicking on the link does, however, share the message with all of your Facebook pals.

In the typical way, this clickjack gets spread quickly through the Internet. Even if only two people click on the message posted by your account, and then two people click on the messages posted by them, and so on, you quickly get thousands of people falling for the scam. The numbers increase exponentially, so they really get moving once you hit the triple digits.

It’s stunningly heartless for someone to use this tragic event to earn money. I’m sure that some people, however, think that the clickjack victims have gotten what they deserve. They should have followed the message in the first place. I think that’s a bit too harsh. Following the message might mean that you’re gullible, but it doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. At least not any worse than the thousands of other people who wanted to see the crash that they had heard so much about.

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