Sounds like part of the plot to a thriller doesn’t it? Makes you think of Leonardo diCaprio and the movie that claimed “it will cost you everything” But it may actually be going on.
Now with restrictions in place to stop conflict diamonds financing wars and dictators it looks like social media unfortunately has become an outlet for blood diamonds.
Came across the following out of context comment in about ten different discussions in Linkedin groups. If it was discussions about diamonds, investing or any subject of relevance to the comment, I would have understood. But that was not the case: “i am the most individual effective diamonds seller in sauther africa region.My primary market are individual buyer, I also assist new buyer who want to explored the market of diamonds in Africa. Diamonds is the most profitable business which an individual can earn so much money with few stone you purchse.” Followed by a yahoo email address, a name and a different name for Skype.
The member had no photograph or information on his Linkedin profile. The only enlightenment was that he is a member of numerous Linkedin groups.
Desperate way of selling diamonds
Why would someone selling diamonds resort to the kind of tactics deployed by for instance people desperate for a job who, post their CV:s as comments in discussions? A reputable dealer would definitely not act like that. So if he is genuine, I strongly suggest that he stops behaving like a spammer to make people trust him. His current behaviour gives the impression he’s a person under pressure to sell the diamonds. If not, why would someone be that desperate to sell a valuable commodity that’s in high demand?
Would you buy diamonds from a spammer?
Who in their right mind would buy diamonds from someone that resorts to guerilla tactics to sell them? Few, if any. So what makes someone employ such methods? What immediately comes to mind is conflict diamonds because it’s difficult to sell them through normal channels.
Illicit diamond trade funding Ivory Coast conflict?
Can’t help wondering of the origin of those diamonds and which war lords the sales will fund? The conflict in the Ivory Coast comes to mind. But groups in, for instance, The Republic of Congo, The Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola are also selling diamonds, for instance to Ivory Coast groups, to finance their insurgencies and fighting. If so, his desperation makes sense. He is most likely under pressure to sell a certain amount or he is in trouble with his bosses.
Or maybe the Linkedin seller isn’t from Africa at all but working for, say, an Afghan war lord? Difficult to prove where someone posting on social media actually resides, isn’t it.
Social media – outlet for blood diamonds?
On social media networks we are already inundated with “Nigeria letters”, beggars and all kinds of shady deals. So it makes perfect sense that peddling conflict diamonds is also going on.
Spammers illegally selling Viagra send out millions of emails daily since one sale only generates massive profits. And you don’t have to be Einstein to understand that one sale of illicit diamonds generate much more money than a sale of Viagra.
Make sure you buy diamonds certified by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme
We should all join forces to make it difficult for people to deal with blood diamonds on social media. If not, we help fuel conflict and keep tyrants in power. So I hope you make sure any diamonds you buy are certified by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. By doing so you will at least know the origin of the diamonds you buy. Can’t understand why, but diamonds from Zimbabwe are now cleared for sales on the international market. But is it really a good idea to buy diamonds from there? Don’t forget that by doing so you help keeping Mugabe in power.
Do you believe social media has become an outlet to sell blood diamonds? Have you also come across diamond dealers hiding their identity on, say, Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter? Would you consider buying diamonds from them just to make huge profits? If not, what do you suggest should be done to stop them from using social media networks to sell their goods? Let’s face it, if peddlers of conflict diamonds succeed in selling their goods on social media networks it will, as the movie pointed out, cost quite a few people everything.
photo: jenny downing – flickr