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'Abolish women's right to vote': 80,000 Facebook users duped

TT/The Local · 9 Dec 2009, 12:55

Published: 09 Dec 2009 12:55 GMT+01:00

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The Facebook group originally promised it would send three kronor ($0.42) to organizations involved in heart research for every member that joined.

Membership in the group grew exponentially, quickly climbing into the tens of thousands.

But when the group reached 80,000 members, it changed its stated purpose from supporting research to working toward depriving women of their right to vote.

The group’s Facebook page suddenly claimed that its members “don’t think that women should be allowed to have the right to vote”, followed by a number of arguments against women’s suffrage.

The group’s 20-year-old founder said he pulled the bait-and-switch to encourage people to stop believing everything they read.

“The point was to be provocative. We want to show that people shouldn’t always be so trusting of the things they join. We did it in a rather provocative way,” the group’s founder told the TT news agency.

Reaction to the stunt has been mixed.

While some Facebook users sad they felt “tricked into this” in comments posted on the group’s site, others found the maneuver amusing.

“There’s also humour in it. I wanted people to realize they shouldn’t believe everything they read, and they should check how truthful something is before signing up or joining a group,” the 20-year-old explained.

He added that the ruse has far surpassed his expectations.

Story continues below…

“We got many more members than we had expected and many reacted in the way we wanted,” the group’s founder said.

He emphasized, however that he does not, in fact, believe that women should be denied the right to vote.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:05 December 9, 2009 by Davey-jo
I think 20 year olds should be denied the right to vote.
14:16 December 9, 2009 by Nemesis
Every krona donated for heart research should be seized from him by kronofogen.

That would wake him up.
14:47 December 9, 2009 by Harding00
No, you misunderstood, nobody donated money, the group merely stated that for every person who joins, three kronor would be donated. Nobody actually donated money. I personally think it was a great idea. And I hope people stop and think about how Facebook groups and such are just mostly BS.
15:02 December 9, 2009 by Osokin
And when they switched the group's motto their subscribers tripled overnight...
16:07 December 9, 2009 by Staffs
I think Nemesis has just proved his point.
16:22 December 9, 2009 by carlferg
16:25 December 9, 2009 by krigeren
I love stuff like this. It could have happened anywhere.
16:32 December 9, 2009 by mkvgtired
I could see this being a good "lesson" if he did not promise to donate money to a good cause for each member. Would it be ok if doctors without borders offered to fund a trust with a certain amount of money for each new member that joined? They could always just say, "gotcha, hope you learned your lesson".
17:14 December 9, 2009 by BrittInSweden
I still don't believe that there are people out there that think a company will spend money on anything just by people forwarding an email or joining an online group.

Microsoft/AOL etc. will NOT pay you for forwarding an email to 10 of your friends so stop doing it.

17:39 December 9, 2009 by spy
Love it - this guy has now has an excellent anecdote that will stand him in good sted for the future!
20:40 December 9, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
Good to have people like him to point out to stupid people what a joke Facebook and it's many applications and causes are.

Saw an interesting article in Newsweek how farmville is a nice gateway to ripping off suckers and Facebook is turning a blind eye to it.
21:27 December 9, 2009 by Beynch
Well, whoever wrote this may be onto something. While I do not think women should be deprived of the right to vote, I am firmly convinced that the voting age should be brought back to age 21. 18 was a big mistake! 18 year olds are simply too infantile, and imbicile, to make an informed voting decision. And when you respond, please do not compare with the military service age. The two have nothing to do with each other in my opinion. Bring back the voting age to 21!!!
22:09 December 9, 2009 by misssquirrel

If they are old enough to work (and yes that does include the military) then they should be old enough to have some say how the government spend their taxes. There are lots of infantile people in advanced years too but the idea is that society as a whole elect the government and not just the so called sensible people. If the young want to waste their vote on the Pirate Party then so be it.
22:24 December 9, 2009 by AussieAndy
Make him pay the promised donation.

Conning people using charities is not humourous. Think of the people who joined the group because they or someone close to them have heart problems or died of heart related causes.

I have spent many years working with charites. Actions like these give charities a bad name and devalue all their efforts in promoting their cause. A stunt like this can have a dramatic decline in donations.

Make the scumbag pay.
07:14 December 10, 2009 by charl
Yeah, AussieAndy... this was a facebook group, and also no one paid anything. But that is secondary to the fact that it was a FACEBOOK GROUP. Anyone joining such a group expecting to actually achieve anything really deserves to get knocked down a notch.
18:12 December 14, 2009 by langoley
I think in most countrys you shoulnn't get to vote unless you PAY TAXES!Those on the government dole only keep the incumbents in to INSURE their padded POCKETS.Most countrys need real political change ,NOW,or they are not going to survive.
19:18 December 14, 2009 by Beynch
@langoley. Right on! I'm hoping all social democrats read your comment. Maybe they could learn something other than what they read on marxist banners.
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