The latest one to make rounds reads like this:
NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates. DO NOT SHARE. Copy and paste.“
Know anyone who shared this in your newsfeed? I do.
The ensuing comment thread was even more annoying:
Note the second commenter, who already knows past viral FB privacy warnings were indeed hoaxes, but shared the latest one “just in case.”
As the internet rumor-debunking site Snopes.com pointed out this June, one of the first documentations of these viral hoaxes dates back to 2009. But before Facebook took over the social media world, people on MySpace were falling for similar hoaxes, the most memorable being the fraudulent claim that MySpace was going to start charging a membership fee. I can still remember my friend posting on Tom’s wall (remember Tom?), saying in a panic, “Tom, is this true???”
The Facebook privacy scam is just a microcosm of the internet epidemic attacking the feeble, fear-based minds of many of our fellow humans. There’s no doubt that false information is now a marketable industry — and even reputable websites contribute to the problem, but when the last line of defense against this phenomenon gets co-opted by the gullible, we all should just lay it down and accept that we’re up against a growing and impenetrable populace of stupid.
Simply put, that last line of defense mentioned above is ridicule.
As reported by my sister Bethania Palma for Snopes, in 2015 the British satire website NewsThump ran an article that claimed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will start paying people to stop sharing the bogus disclaimers.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has promised every Facebook user $1,000, but only if everyone stops sharing stupid hoaxes on his social network.
The move comes after timelines have become inundated with ridiculous claims being shared by people stupid enough to think they could get a lot of money for doing literally nothing but sharing a Facebook post.
Zuckerberg is said to have implemented a new algorithm to track hoaxes, and will make the payment to all Facebook users on the first of February if no new hoaxes are identified.
After the recent false disclaimer started to make the rounds, an image from the NewsThump article began to circulate online, and the populace of stupid were back to square one.
Social media being what it is, an image from that spoof was circulated outside the context of the article, which led some Facebook users to inquire about whether what it said was true or not.
Which gives me a great idea for the next viral Facebook hoax:
“Warning: Facebook users who’ve shared past privacy disclaimers must delete ALL social media accounts and cease ALL sharing activity by tomorrow’s deadline. Those who fail to meet this deadline will be deemed a menace to society and will be microchipped by Mark Zuckerberg’s reptilian army of Illuminati foot soldiers. DO NOT SHARE. DO NOT COPY AND PASTE. DELETE ALL SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE.”