At any given moment, if you search for Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook, chances are you’ll come across a hoax claiming that he is giving away 1,000 shares of Facebook. Zuckerberg was feeling especially generous, said the hoax, and some Facebook users began sharing the viral Facebook post “just in case” it was true. Variations of the hoax read as follows in some posts being shared on Facebook.
“Mark Zuckerberg is giving away his Facebook fortune! The first 1,000 users who copy, paste and share this message will each get a chunk of his $45 billion fortune.
“Can’t wait to see who the winners are tonight. [Facebook’s] Mark Zuckerberg is going to give away 4.5 million shares of his Facebook stock tonight at midnight; 10% to people like you and me! All you have to do is copy and paste this to your page and post. Facebook is doing this to show what a powerful tool of connection it is!!! Can’t wait to see who wins!!! This is not a hoax!!! It’s on Good Morning America!!! Nothing to lose!!”
Despite the claims of the viral Facebook post, Mark wasn’t randomly giving away Facebook shares to 1,000 Facebook users. However, as reported by Yahoo News, Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla, have pledged to give away $45 billion to charity, not random Facebook users. It’s the slight twist on the truth that was reported via Zuckerberg’s Good Morning America report about the $45 billion donation that made the hoax seem slightly true. Perhaps those reasons and the nature of human greed, curiosity, and chutzpah is why the Facebook hoax went viral. And while folks don’t know how the 1,000 Facebook users hoax originated and why it spread like wildfire, Facebook soon confirmed that it was indeed a hoax.
“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.”
Meanwhile, a new meme claiming Mark is giving away a magical unicorn is going viral. As reported by the Independent, a guy turned the Zuckerberg Facebook hoax on its head when Joe Coletta posted a viral Facebook post about Mark giving away a magical unicorn to folks who share the funny meme.
Already, that post on Facebook by Coletta, which was posted on December 27, has been shared more than 30,000 times on Facebook alone. It’s also being shared on Twitter and other social media platforms. The meme about the magical unicorn is a funny way to let folks know that the hoax about Mark giving away some Facebook shares is just that — a hoax. And while Zuckerberg is proving to be a generous guy with his charitable donations, Mark might not be parting with his Facebook fortune anytime soon, at least not in the manner that the viral Facebook hoax claimed Zuckerberg was doing.
What is the truth is that an article titled “Free Basics protects net neutrality,” published on December 28, 2015 by Mark Zuckerberg, is going viral, as reported by the Times of India.
Read Mark Zuckerberg's defense of Facebook's widely criticized plan to bring free Internet to India https://t.co/gpC4bUCRSI— MarketWatch (@MarketWatch) December 28, 2015
The opinion piece written by Mark is receiving plenty of reaction on social media. Earlier this year, Facebook’s CEO conducted a town hall meeting with technology students in New Delhi, India, in October. It was his second visit to India in 2015.
[Photo by Shirish Shete/Press Trust of India/AP]