Facebook hoax alert! No, Mark Zuckerberg is not giving $4.5m to people like YOU and ME


Did you hear that new dad Mark Zuckerberg is giving away $45 billion of Facebook stock and that for some reason none of the news articles about it have mentioned the fact that 10% of it is being given to Jane and Joe Schmoes like you and me if we just copy and paste this message about it which has a smiley face that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and trusting?

facebook hoax

Can't hurt just incase 
THANK YOU, MARK ZUCKERBERG, for your forward-thinking generosity! And congrats on becoming a dad!
Mark Zuckerberg has announced that he is giving away $45 billion of Facebook stock. What you may not have heard is that he plans to give 10% of it away to people like YOU and ME! All you have to do is copy and paste this message into a post IMMEDIATELY. At midnight PST, Facebook will search through the day's posts and award 1000 people with $4.5 million EACH as a way of saying thank you for making Facebook such a powerful vehicle for connection and philanthropy.

I would so lunge to my Facebook account and share the shinola out of that sucker.

But given the fact that Angela the Terrifying Talking Cartoon cat turned out to be a hoax and that Bill Gates, sadly enough, never did give people $5000 for sharing his photo on Facebook, well, maybe we should run it through the hoax-o-meter before sharing willy-nilly.

We’ve given tips for avoiding Facebook hoaxes like this in the past.

Here are some clues that this is one is bogus:

First, it might remind you of a hoax about Facebook donating money for a boy’s life-saving surgery after he got shot while saving his sister from a rapist…

… Money to be donated based on the number of times the message was shared, that is.

Seriously? As Naked Security noted about that 2013 hoax, it would be extraordinarily crass to base a decision to assist in saving a boy’s life on how many shares a post gets.

Likewise, while Priscilla Chan and her husband, Mark Zuckerberg, did in fact recently pledge to give away nearly all their $45 billion over the course of their lifetimes, nobody said anything about giving it away to random, click-happy strangers.

Rather, they’re interested in seeing the money go to “advancing human potential and promoting equality.” That includes fighting disease, improving education and “building strong communities.”

Another clue that points to the post being a hoax: the post doesn’t include a link to an official Facebook blog entry, nor does it link to a news story from a legitimate news outlet.

But as the person who wrote that post said, why NOT share it?

How many times have you, or your coworkers, friends, or family, echoed that post’s line about the lack of harm in sharing a post, even if common sense says it’s obviously a hoax?

Why wouldn’t you accept what could be a free lottery ticket with a $4.5 million payout?

“Can’t hurt!”, right? “Just in case!”, yes?

But it can hurt. Remember the boy who cried, “Wolf!” unnecessarily, until his fellow villagers simply wouldn’t believe him any more?

When a real wolf showed up, they ignored him.

We all need to remember, and remind our connections, about the importance of not spreading chain letters.

And please, do us all a favor: if people in your circle are sharing posts like this, you might want to suggest that they follow up by informing all of their friends that they were mistaken.

After all, even though hoax posts seem to be impervious to extinction, there’s always hope that our “BOGUS!!!” messages will go viral.

You can always share this article on Facebook, or tell your friends to join up to Naked Security’s Facebook page instead.

That’s not a hoax! That’s where hoaxes and chain letters like this one go to die! Insert smiley emoticon here!