Trypophobia.

If you haven’t already run away screaming, this is the name given to a recent phenomenon involving:

…pathological fear, revulsion or disgust of objects with irregular patterns of holes, such as beehives, ant hills and lotus seed heads.Wikipedia

For individuals particularly sensitive to this imagery, they can trigger panic attacks (Warning: last link contains a picture of a honeycomb. Never thought I’d write that.) A particular form of shock image tactic is to use editing tools and combine these natural images blended with photographs of arms, legs, faces…whatever it takes to gross someone out.

So of course, someone has made use of this imagery and rolled it up into an urgent “Government warning” about shampoo (!) with the intention of spreading it on Facebook. Here’s a page currently doing the rounds located at

skin-virus(dot)youtubetrends(dot)red/sk1n-car3/gr0ss(dot)php

I’ve edited out the “Eyes, goggles, nothing” imagery as best I can, which appears to be a picture of a neck “infected” by a lotus seed head:

Nooooooo

The page is called “Facebook Health – Skin Disease”, and the title of the fake video is

“GOVERNMENT WARNING – you will never this shampoo after viewing this video!”

The Share prompt says “Share = Save Lives”, which probably sums up how desperate they are for you to click and share this nonsense. The page will direct sharers to a variety of ads / install pages. Here’s one:

"Update" time?

Users of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will find we detect the file offered up as PUP.Optional.InstallBrain.A and the current VirusTotal score is 7 / 43.

Worrying Facebook users with fake tales of shampoo disaster to have them share imagery which could cause panic attacks isn’t great – hopefully this fad will die off quickly, because I assume most people don’t need a hearty dose of body horror to go with their Facebook catch-up sessions at breakfast…

Christopher Boyd