File this one under “public service warning.” If you’re a fan and regular user of Facebook, beware of a new virus that’s making the rounds inside the social media giant.
If you see a video on your wall titled “My First Video,” don’t click on it to play it. If you do, it will tag every member of your friend list, and place a copy of the video on their wall, making it the video equivalent to an email worm.
The viral video doesn’t do anything. It won’t upload or install files on your computer, or interfere with your system in any way, but like the earliest worm emails, it can easily overload Facebook’s servers and bring them to their knees.
The company is currently working to remove all traces of the rogue video, but the simple fact of its sudden appearance should send up a warning flag to both the company and to its legions of avid users. This will certainly not be the last viral video we see, but next time, pressing play may do more than just place a copy of the video on the walls of everybody on your friend list. If the hackers can make that happen, then it’s a sure bet that someone is already experimenting with more advanced and destructive functionality, and it’s just a matter of time before they succeed.
Even in its current incarnation, it can be potentially problematic for a small to medium sized business. Consider: If you use Facebook to promote your brand and communicate with your customers, and one of your employees inadvertently passes this viral video on to everyone who has friended you, it could easily generate bad optics and bad PR.
Make sure your brand manager and the people you’ve got working on your company’s Facebook page are aware of the video’s existence, and stay tuned. The company will almost certainly be providing additional details about the video as they get them.