Halloween is over or so I thought. I spent a big part of the last month hearing about the inevitable Zombie Invasion and I have even learned how to defend myself in case of an Attack of the Killer Poms, but nothing could have prepared me for the fear of what I learned about next; Koobface Friends!
It sounds like a hoax but it isn’t. The term Koobface comes from a worm that has been spreading on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace but unlike its virtual counterpart that can be cleaned up and rectified, Koobface Friends are wreaking havoc in the real world with catastrophic results! And by the time people realize what has happened to them, it’s too late. The damage caused by Koobface Friends has been completed with devastating precision.
“She ruined my life,” said Ima Frayed when she agreed to be interviewed last week. “I met a woman at the park one day. Our children played so nicely together that we started meeting up at the park on a daily basis. We went to the mall together and before I knew it, we did everything with each other. We quickly became the best of friends.”
“And that is when the nightmare began,” Ima Frayed recounted as she fought back the tears. “She started rumors about me and caused fights among my friends and relatives. I was shocked to learn the horrible things that were said about my children and my family. The whispering that went on behind my back. It ripped our whole world apart and our friendships with the people we had known for years were completely destroyed.”
Ima Frayed’s story is turning out to be a common theme among young suburban couples all over the United States of America. Due to our global society and people moving more frequently, these “Koobface Friends” (as they are commonly referred to) have been able to worm their way into the very fabric of real social networks with the goal of obliterating friendships. They learn everything about every member of a social network and then Koobface Friends use that vital personal information to attack the very foundation of the entire group. They undermine the trust and camaraderie that it has taken people years to develop and when the coalition of friends has been completely ruined, Koobface Friends worm their way into new and unsuspecting social networks.
“I still don’t understand what happened,” sobbed Anita Zoloft at her home last week. “One day I was happy. I had a good social network, lots of friends, a role in my local community and then it all unraveled. I made a new friend working on a local initiative in our town and the next thing I knew was that my world was turned upside down. Lifelong friendships ruined. My reputation tarnished. Our family went through hell with everything that happened and as we pick up the pieces to start over, we have a cynical view of the world around us.”
Anita Zoloft had been the President of her local PTA. She was organizing the latest community fundraiser when the whispers started. As she started to feel the eyes constantly staring at her and the fingers pointing in her direction, the fireworks soon began. Childhood friends accused her of saying and doing things that she had never done. Her children were ostracized and an argument between her husband and his boss about the rumors that were circulating led him unceremoniously to the front of the unemployment line. Anita Zoloft’s family was devastated and with nothing left to show as a lifelong resident of her childhood hometown, Anita Zoloft and her family moved five states away last spring to start over again.
“It’s ‘Apis Potanda Bigone‘ but it’s an all too familiar story that we have heard way too often,” said S. Karim Goode from behind his desk last week at the National Headquarters of the Meek Squad. He is the CEO and Founder of the Meek Squad and has spent the last two years chasing down Koobface Friends and exposing them before they can destroy another life.
“We are trying to help people take back their lives,” said S. Karim Goode. “Koobface Friends worm their way into good standing with the Alpha-figure in a social network and befriend them. Then they seek out the meek or impressionable members of any social network and they start influencing them little by little. At first they taint the perception of their peer interactions and then they move into pointing out perceived social injustices against the milder mannered members of the group. Finally, once they have wrapped their tentacles around the entire group of friends, they start filling their heads with misinformation, half-truths and lies. Then they sit back and watch the implosion of another group of friends.”
It seems like the plot of another low budget horror film but Koobface Friends are real. And with the help of people like S. Karim Goode, there is hope! S. Karim Goode has saved a small handful of friendships over the past two years but identifying Koobface Friends is difficult. They hide in the shadows waiting to strike. Anonymity is the key to their success so when the Meek Squad exposes a Koobface Friend, they quickly move to a new part of the country and lay low for awhile until they can continue their hideous scheme to destabilize social networks all over the country.
“Be careful of the people you meet,” was S. Karim Goode’s last piece of advice to us. “People are inherently good but it only takes one bad apple to ruin your faith in humanity forever. Koobface Friends are good at what they do but it doesn’t mean everyone you meet is out to destroy your social network. ‘Just pay close attention’ is what I tell everyone I meet because Koobface Friends are everywhere!”
That last piece of information has been good advice for Ima Frayed! After two years of hard work with the Meek Squad, she has eradicated the Koobface Friend who wormed her way into her social network and she has slowly climbed out of the clouded past that she was hiding from. “We have tried to rebuild our foundation,” said Ima Frayed, “but it has been difficult because our Koobface Friend left behind a tattered community that is trying to start over but just doesn’t trust anyone anymore.”
Koobface Friends are everywhere! They could be in your town right now. So be careful because they could be lurking around the very next corner just waiting to befriend you!
I meant to have this article done before Halloween but the Yankees kept winning and time to edit was scarce. I hope you all had a great Halloween and some fun with the tongue-in-cheek above (or is it? Could a Koobface Friend be coming to a group of friends near you?) . Have a great day!!!!