Some Facebook Users Fooled by Zuckerberg Shares Giveaway Hoax
Facebook hoaxes are nothing new, as users of the social media monolith have been pestered for years now to copy/paste/repost messages that promise them everything from enhanced privacy to contest prizes, but people still seem to fall for them, including the latest hoax that promises millions of the social networking site’s founder’s money. The latest hoax to take the site by storm deals with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, stemming from his announcement last month that he and his wife would be leaving $45 billion worth of Facebook shares to charity.
The false post, asserted to be from Zuckerberg, says that if a user shared one of the real Zuckerberg’s legitimate posts, posted a message about the supposed giveaway, and tagged five friends, said user would have the chance to win 10 percent of the $45 billion. The message falsely claimed that the giveaway had been announced on ABC’s Good Morning America, which was completely untrue. The program, like most major news outlets, did report on the Zuckerbergs’ initial charity announcement however, which may have prompted confusion amongst Facebook users who wanted to believe in the hoax. For the trained social media skeptic, there were other hints that the post wasn’t legitimate. Namely, most versions contained spelling and grammatical errors, and some claimed winners would be informed via “emoticon.” Facebook quickly attempted to put the kibosh on the story, saying in a December 9 statement: “Friends don’t let friends copy and paste memes. While Priscilla and Mark’s pledge to give money to improve the world is real, not everything you read on the Internet is, and they’re not giving it away randomly. Be safe out there sweepstakes seekers.” Even with Facebook’s denial, the post was still somewhat prevalent on the site throughout the holiday season, though it seems to be outnumbered by numerous parody posts promising increasingly outlandish gifts from Zuckerberg including everything from unicorn horns to live dinosaurs.
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