USA TODAY: Fact check: Identical injured dog posts are a viral scam

UC social media expert explains how to verify posts

Wounded and lost animals are the perfect click bait on social media, and a recent viral video about an injured dog is a prime example.

The post which depicts a large dog, alledgedly hit by a car, is one of many ways that scammers tug at viewers heartstrings, explains an article in USA TODAY. Identical posts have been popping up in Facebook groups for locations all over the world. They have the same photo and the same text. Besides some small changes, the only notable difference is the name of the town in which the user claims the accident happened.

This is a technique used by scammers to identify people who may be vulnerable to other scam methods, said Jeffrey Blevins, a professor at the University of Cincinnati who specializes in misinformation.

Read the USA TODAY article to identify ways to avoid click bait and ways to verify information.

Professor Blevins is the co-author of “Social Media, Social Justice and the Political Economy of Online Networks.”  He holds affiliate faculty positions at UC in the Department of Communications and the School of Public and International Affairs. His scholarship is grounded in U.S. telecommunication law and policy and engages critical political economy theory.

Featuerd image of Jeffrey Blevins at top UC Marketing + Brand. 

Impact Lives Here

The University of Cincinnati is leading public urban universities into a new era of innovation and impact. Our faculty, staff and students are saving lives, changing outcomes and bending the future in our city's direction. Next Lives Here

Related Stories


UC‘s College of Arts and Sciences taps innovative new leadership

December 20, 2023

The College of Arts and Sciences announced Ryan J. White and Rina Williams as the newest divisional deans of Natural Sciences and Social Sciences. White and Kennedy’s inclusion will bring new focuses and structure around student success and the college of Arts and Sciences’ advancement. Both will officially begin their new terms on Jan. 1, 2024.


What is UC’s 4 + 1 program?

December 4, 2023

You may be a UC student thinking about taking your education to the next level — UC’s College of Arts and Sciences has a pathway to help you do just that. A&S has no fewer than 15 five-year programs — from biological sciences to Spanish to psychology — where you can earn both your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in just five years, versus the traditional six-year track. The Bachelors and Master’s 4 + 1 Program is designed to increase your marketability and deepen your understanding of the subject matter. And in an increasingly competitive job market, you may want to investigate an additional year of study.

Debug Query for this