Home > Uncategorized > FACing up to ways Social Media is used – Virtually Astounding.

FACing up to ways Social Media is used – Virtually Astounding.

I’ll be honest, when it comes to facebook gaming, I’m not a participant. But a recent article I read in Adage.com didn’t bring me any closer to wanting to be one either.  According to a December 9, 2009 article in Adage.com entitled, “Health Insurers Paying Facebook Gamers Virtual Currency to Oppose Reform Bill” players of popular games such as Mafia Wars or Farmville should be very careful in how they accrue points to play their games.  Usually, gamers need additional points called virtual currency to continue playing in these virtual games.

Facebook players accumulate points by buying them literally with their own money, winning the games they’re playing or by signing up with a 3rd party who will make them an offer and in exchange for the user accepting the offer recieve virtual points. For example, companies such as Netflix offer these facebook gamers virtual points in exchange for the gamer accepting and product or service trial. But, what happens when politics gets into the mix? This is the case as the debate for universal healthcare has entered the arena of facebook.

You may ask yourself, “What does healthcare and facebook have to do with one another?” Well, not so surprisingly, a majority of the users that healthcare companies are targeting – women in their 30s and 40s are heavy facebook users. An organization called Get Healthcare Reform Right has enlisted the aid of facilitators such as Gambit to bring together healthcare status quo advocates, facebook gamers and facebook game creators. Players desperately desiring to play on their favorite game, but lack virtual currency to continue merely need to fill out a survey supplied by GetHealthcareReformRight.org. Get Healthcare Reform Right acts on behalf of some of the largest healthcare insurer organizations in the U.S. Such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers and Healthcare Leadership Council. After filling out the survey, the following email is sent to their Congressperson:

 

 

Get Healthcare Reform Right Screenshot

Tell Congress to Get Health Reform Right!

“I am concerned a new government plan could cause me to lose the employer coverage I have today. More government bureaucracy will only create more problems, not solve the ones we have.”

The players receive their points, the political lobbyists are happier for more support and the game creator is happier that more participants are using their facebook gaming software.  

Politricks are nothing new to the American people, but using Social Media to further these gains are some unchartered waters. Will there be a Social Media backlash? Is it ethical to promote a political agenda via Social Media? Many people believe we probably wouldn’t have the latest President of the United States without his campaign party’s use of some matter of Social Media, so fair is fair. Astroturfing is the term used to describe paying someone for their political support and its NOT illegal – I always thought it was called bribery myself.  Unlike true “grassroots” followings, astroturfing is so named because it is “fake-grassroots” in nature.   Will the healthcare debate in the United States come down to how many virtual points Andre or Vera or Sophie need to continue to play Balloono or Hover Kart Battle? I sincerely hope not, but the next time a facebook friend shows me their next highest score on a virtual game, I’m going to be very concerned how they got that score and at what cost is it indirectly is to me, personally.

Health Insurers Caught Paying Facebook Gamers Virtual Currency To Oppose Reform Bill

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