“In The Name Of Poor” Facebook Pages Are Earning Money In Lakhs

Umran Hussain

Ever wondered why a so called journalist will travel 100 kilometers to cover a story about a poor family, orphan children and widows? Here is the answer.

People tend to watch emotional content more on social media than any other thing on internet. It is a human tendency to watch or listen to content that touches our heart and makes us cry.

Taking a huge advantage of your emotions, internet users started their business by posting emotional content on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and such videos earn them a great deal. With thousands and millions of views, such videos earn money in lakhs for the users. Interestingly, people are seldom aware about this business and in all this mess, we start praising the uploader, the journalist or a Facebook page.

There’s no doubt in the fact that poor deserve our attention, we need to attend them, but it should not be at the cost of their suffering.

This hidden business is rampant on social media and unfortunately, you will never come across any comment below the video that calls out the journalist or his page about using the poor guy to earn him money through his monetized page.

Such videos do a lot of damage to the reputation of the poor family too, because almost all such videos are posted without even blurring the face of the victims. Millions of people come to know about the apathy of the family and unfortunately in such cases, there were reports of getting a “bad name” for the female folk of the family, hence no takers of the unmarried girls of the family.

How is the money earned from such videos, why not from other videos?

Once your page is followed by a decent number of people and you start uploading original content on it, Facebook monetizes your page. In a layman’s language, Facebook provides you an opportunity to earn money from the videos you upload on your page.

After monetization of your page, you are supposed to be original and you need a decent viewership now. Views in hundreds or thousands wont work for you now. You need to lure your followers to share the content you upload so that the chain grows longer and longer and more people watch your video.

Uploading videos about nature, politics, education or other issues never get you an earning, and there is a reason behind it.

People mostly students are seen ignoring such videos, probably because social media platforms are mostly seen as a source of entertainment and are least used for educational purposes.

When it comes to emotions, people vent their heart out, as mentioned earlier emotions have an attraction and people tend to watch them more after entertainment videos.

Keeping into consideration such statistics and research, Facebook page operators saw it as an opportunity to earn money from them. They hire non professional journalists who just have to go and visit a poor family, motivate them for a video story and upload the same on their page.

Such videos on an average earn them 15000 to 130000 Rupees, because people in thousands share them and people in millions watch them.

Apart from earning money through Google monetization, such pages tactically are accused of using such videos to collect money from people who with good intentions help the poor, the widows or the orphans by transferring money to an account that the News Portal provides.

A recent incident that came to limelight after Gulistan TV carried a story about a News Portal “Kashmir Crown”, whose editor in chief Shahid Imran allegedly diverted money collected for a poor family to his own bank account.

A social worker earlier held a press conference and provided full details of the money that was transfered to the poor family in question and accused Shahid Imran of withholding more than fifty lac rupees which as per the social worker belonged to the family for which the money was collected by Shahid.

Shahid is said to have amassed huge wealth and is allegedly the partner of an under construction Nursing Home. Moreover, he owns two offices, one in Baramulla and another in Srinagar for running the affairs of his news portal. The rent that amounts to more than 45,000 for both the offices raises several questions about the finances of the news portal.

Umran Hussain is a blogger and works as an online editor for The Kashmir Radar. He can be reached at umranhussainkr@gmail.com

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