Understanding Facebook and Clickbait

Recently when I was scrolling Facebook the other day, I found something that bothered me.  Look at the picture.  Look at the caption.  If you are a fan of Country Threads, you will recognize that quilt and that picture.  It’s a design from Mary and Connie.  The quilt is thrown over Mary’s fence.  Mary took the picture.  It peeved me that someone was stealing her quilt and writing directions…so like many of you did, or would, I clicked on what I thought would be the instructions.

Oh, darn it.  They caught me.  It was… clickbait.

This is the page the link took me to.  There is no free pattern for this there.  I looked all around and I cannot get the pattern from the site anywhere.  If you scroll up and read the caption on the photo above.  It really never does say the link will take you to the free pattern.  We just all assumed it would.  Yep, they got us with their clickbait.

Do you know what clickbait is?  It’s a tactic to get viewers to click.  Scammers do it for many reasons.

Reason one- you click and they get information from you such as your email address.  Then they sell your email address to advertisers and your email inbox gets LOADED with spam.  I’m sure you’ve gotten one of those emails that says your grandson is in Europe with no money because someone stole his wallet and you need to send him $1000 to get home.  But the truth is we don’t even have a grandson!!   The people who send those buy our email addresses from clickbait places like these.

Reason two-you see advertising as you click and for every ad of there’s you see, they get money. For every ad you click on within their site, they get even more money.

Three-They are trying to steal your Facebook account and hack it and hack your other personal information with the hope of getting in and stealing money from your accounts.

The site on Facebook that took the picture of Country Threads’ quilt is called Popular Free Quilting Patterns.  I highly recommend that you not sign up and follow the site.  I highly recommend that if you already follow the site, you unfollow it.

I am going to show you a few more examples and talk about clickbait today so that you can see and understand it more readily.  Please know that it doesn’t just happen with quilting sites…it happens across the internet.

I think we all have “that friend” who continually has their Facebook page that gets hacked.  They are always saying, “don’t accept friend requests for me, I was hacked”.  It’s likely that they look at sites like these and give away their information.  I don’t want that to be you so please follow along and learn to recognize sites that feature clickbait and are trying to steal your information.

I clicked around on this Facebook page and took pictures so you can see some examples of things that are signs that dishonest people are running the site.

Check this out.  I clicked the link.  Nope.  The pattern that it linked to was not this quilt.  I wouldn’t doubt this is a pattern from Anka’s Treasures…  Many of the posts on this Facebook page say something like this one.  “I am still working on my binding skills”.  When they do this, all sorts of people write in the comment section, “Your binding skills look great”….or they like the picture because they want to encourage the maker.  It’s all the kind of things we all do…BUT, this promotes their site to other Facebook users and more people see the post and more people like it.  Anytime you like or comment on a Facebook post, that gives the entry more “points”.  The more points the post gets the more people to see the post.  The more people that see it and click on it, the more income these fraudulent people are getting…all through people who don’t understand clickbait and how Facebook works.

Here is another post about being criticized.

Having a photo of a quilt and saying people were criticizing you is a red flag.

Here is another red flag.  Look at the picture of the quilt.  It is a star quilt.  Look at the link.  It says “fat-quarter-flowers-quilt/” within the link.  Clicking the link does not take you to the pattern.  It takes you to…SURPRISE!!  A fat quarter flower quilt!!

So why do they want you to click and go to their site??  ADVERTISING.  The people who own the site are likely the same people who own the Facebook page.  Most links take you to the same site or they take you to the site in the link in the picture below.  I am positive the Facebook page is affiliated with both pages.

How advertising works…if you see an ad, the owner of the site gets paid a small fee.  If you click on an ad, the owner gets paid a larger fee.  You would be surprised at how advertising money adds up.  I know.  I have advertising on this very blog and advertisers pay me the same way they pay this scam site.

Look at the picture below.  It’s not a Lady of Lake quilt as the link suggests.  Look how the site in the link spells CREATIVE.  More red flags.

Another red flag…if you click on the name of the person who put up this entry, it takes you to her Facebook page.  On her page, no pictures besides quilts are in her feed.  She has very few friends.  All posts are back to this Facebook page.  This is likely a fake Facebook account only used to scam people through this site.  Also…look the like says Dresden table topper.  That’s not a table topper in the picture and it’s not a Dresden.

If you click to the website to get what you think is going to be a free pattern, you will see a big ad like this.  Doesn’t that make you think you can download the “free pattern” by clicking the button that says, “Start Download”?  Nope.  that is really just an ad and it will take you to a new page.  In that click, they just duped you into clicking and it earned them money.

Here is another thing they do.   They want you to put in your email address to get the free pattern.  If you do, you just gave scammers your email address.  How many times when you have a password and user name don’t we use our email address?  You just opened the door to a scammer.

Look in the comment section.  Look at the comments.  People are frustrated because they can’t find the implied “free pattern”.

Here’s another dupe…Here’s the picture…

This is where the link took me.  Yes, both pinwheel quilts but no free patterns and no pattern that was implied in the link above.  It’s all clickbait.  You click expecting a free pattern but none is there and they win.

Here’s the picture…

Here is where it takes you.  Those quilts aren’t the same.  See the big “Download” dupe.

See the big ads??

See the place to put in your email information?  This site is a total scam.

Here are more comments telling you this is a scam!!!

Here is the criticism link.


I hope this helps you more readily see and identify clickbait.  I hope by reading this you will no longer give out your information.  No free pattern is worth getting hacked or used by dishonest internet people.  There are so many places you can get patterns from that are truly free and are not out to dupe you.  Please use trusted sites.  Quilted Twins, Quiltville, and Jo’s Country Junction are all free sites that are honest and not collecting your information to sell.  There are many others out there that offer free patterns…another place is trusted fabric companies or magazines.  Please protect yourself.

Check your Facebook page.  Do you follow Popular Free Quilt Patterns?  I suggest you unfriend or unlike the page and don’t support them by liking their posts or commenting on their pictures.  It just helps the owners of the page dupe more people.  Don’t feel bad.  Over 64,000 other people belong to the page and they are all getting duped into clicking just like many of us did.

28 thoughts on “Understanding Facebook and Clickbait”

  1. Thank you so much for the click bait explanation. It’s information I didn’t know and really opened my eyes to how those type sites operate. I appreciate you taking the time to give us this very helpful lesson. Thank you!!!

  2. Thank you for this. I saw this site on my feed and have never commented or liked but always thought it was fishy. Just now left that group and unfollowed!

  3. Remember to also report these types of pages to facebook, it’s getting crazy with the number of spam and scam posts popping up daily. My dad recently had a comment made on a post like this that he didn’t do it just goes to show that not all people have good intentions on social media.

  4. I also see my friends on Facebook answering the questions “What year did you graduate high school?” “Share this post to win a free sewing machine.” “97% of people can’t find the cat in the photo” Don’t answer or share these posts! Doing so will get you hacked, too.

  5. Something else I’ve started doing is a watermark. I had a Facebook friend copy my pics and post them to her page. I asked her to give me credit. She was getting a lot of likes and comments from friends so I just started telling people thank you. One lady asked why I was doing this and I told her they were my quilts. The lady finally gave me credit and hasn’t done it again. She still doesn’t think she did anything wrong.

  6. Something else I’ve started doing is a watermark. I had a Facebook friend copy my pics and post them to her page. I asked her to give me credit. She was getting a lot of likes and comments from friends so I just started telling people thank you. One lady asked why I was doing this and I told her they were my quilts. The lady finally gave me credit and hasn’t done it again. She still doesn’t think she did anything wrong.

  7. All excellent reasons that I am sooooo thankful that I never ever joined Faceb**k ! And never will. There are more than enough good quilting blogs that I trust and read. Plus all that I hear about FB these days is way too polarizing.

  8. I saw a quilt I recognized on that Free quilt patterns site with someone saying they just made it and please don’t criticize their effort and then they gave a link to this “free pattern”!

    I commented because I knew it wasn’t a free pattern. It was one I’ve made that comes from Kim Brackett’s book Scrap Basket Sensations called Island Chain. I said that Kim’s books are amazing (I think I own all of them) and I shared an Amazon link to the book.
    Never heard a response from original poster but others had commented before me that the free pattern link didn’t show them the pattern!
    Very frustrating!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

  9. Carmen Montmarquet

    Thanks Jo for all these tips. Good reminder to stay away! Sad there are so many unscrupulous people out there!

  10. oh my goodness, thank you! ran into something similar on pintrest and couldn’t figure out where the link went wrong! (even tried again..silly me) now i know and will be wiser for your tidbit of education !!!

  11. I really appreciate the information. I am always looking at something and wondering if this is real or fake, even in the texts that you receive. It is sad that some people only operate to fool people. Thanks for being a trusted source.

  12. Thanks so much for taking the time to add all the pictures in so we could see what you were talking about. I try to be very careful, but every once in a while, they get me too! I appreciate your helping us not to be victims!

  13. These examples are EXACTLY why I do not or will not use Facebook And other similar sites. When are people going to learn?

  14. There have been a few quilt scams on FB, they were taking photos and advertising the quilts for sale in the market place bit – except they weren’t their photos, they were originally taken by the maker at a quilt show who then shared her quilt. Some even have the maker in the photos! They should be ashamed of themselves. Then anyone that actually bought the item received a blanket or other rubbish.
    I deleted all my photos from Pinterest and FB, then finally closed them down. I don’t miss either of them.
    Any of these sites that concern you should be reported and they will get closed down, but only to pop up in another place under a different name. Very frustrating.
    Good of you to pop up the warning Jo – these people need to be stopped and the more quilty folk that are now aware of this is a job well done.

  15. And dont get me started about the “companies” selling quilting items that are counterfeit product. Creative Grids is only one company fighting this battle with Facebook and Amazon. Quite a few quilters have responded that they do not care since it is cheaper. Argggg. Stealing an American companies product and videos is theft and should not be rewarded. And look at the complaints about the products they are buying. Arrrggggg. Thanks Jo for a great post with clear info on what is happening. Oh, and the women who keep forwarding the “free Janome and Bernina machines” should be banned. Off my soapbox.

  16. I type click bait constantly. They say such stupid things and I recognize quilts easily and know the pictures were stolen. I’m glad you put this information out on your blog so others will understand.

  17. Susan from Michigan

    Thank you, Jo, for this information. There was a lot I didn’t know. I noticed too, that the wording in the clickbait is poorly written. Makes no sense. Thank you for looking out for us!

  18. Thank you so much for talking about this kind of scans .. I had no clue this was going on so readily.. thanks for explaining it so well .. thanks again ! !

  19. Thank you Jo for this very informative blog. I definitely will be more cautious. I’m sure I have been duped more than once. I always look for your blog as you always have good advice, patterns, etc. Thank you for putting so much time into your blogs.

  20. Rosie Westerhold

    Thanks, Jo, for explaining this more. I KNEW that pic with Mary’s quilt and a free pattern wasn’t quite right. But I clicked and clicked and CLICKED trying to get to the bottom of it so I could complain. They blocked all my comments!! Even when I just typed “WOW”!! They thought they fooled me, (they really didn’t), but I reported them to FB. Have no idea if it did any good.

    So appreciate your efforts to look out for us. It is much appreciated.

  21. Marsha from Kansas

    Thank you for such a clear explanation that I can understand. I appreciate your posts like this that help me get it and not use technical computer jargon.

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