An old claim that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will give away $1,000 to Facebook users if they stop sharing “stupid hoaxes” on the social media site is going viral online once again.
Hundreds of Facebook users are sharing the message, some apparently under the mistaken impression that it is genuine. But the claim first appeared online on December 31, 2015, when News Thump, a satirical website, published an article that was meant to parody previous Facebook hoaxes, Snopes reports.
According to the News Thump article titled “Mark Zuckerberg to give everyone $1000 to stop sharing stupid Facebook hoaxes,” Facebook has developed and implemented a new algorithm to detect and track hoaxes on the social media site.
The satirical piece claimed that the Facebook CEO promised to give every Facebook user $1,000 if no silly hoaxes appeared on the social media site for a month.
According to News Thump, Zuckerberg made the offer because he was exasperated by recent multiple viral hoaxes on his site shared by millions under the mistaken impression that Facebook had promised to pay users who shared the messages.
One of such hoax messages went viral in December 2015 after Mark Zuckerberg revealed in a Facebook post on December 1, 2015, that he and his wife were giving away 99 percent of their Facebook shares, estimated at $45 billion, to charity.
Soon after the Facebook CEO shared the message, a hoax message began circulating on Facebook making the false claim that Zuckerberg also planned to give away 10 percent of the $45 billion to Facebook users who simply copied and pasted a message to their Facebook pages.
“Mark Zuckerberg has announced that he is giving away $45 billion of Facebook stock,” the fake message said. “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 and tag 5-10 of your friends. 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.”
According to News Thump, Zuckerberg was angered that people were so stupid that they could believe such ridiculous hoaxes.
“Dear God, you people are stupid,” News Thump quoted Zuckerberg saying. “I have asked you all time and time again to stop sharing ridiculous hoaxes about me giving away my money to Facebook users. But none of you have listened. So I have decided to sweeten the deal a little. If you — and I mean absolutely everyone on Facebook — can stop sharing stupid hoaxes for just one month, I will give every Facebook user $1,000. I don’t see this happening to be honest, as you’re all too gullible. Prove me wrong.”
The website also quoted a Facebook user Simone Williams, who was pleased with the offer by the Facebook CEO but was even more impressed with another offer of a new Range Rover for sharing a separate message on Facebook.
“It’s a good offer, but I’ve got one here where I can get a new Range Rover, and all I have to do is share this Facebook post from a dodgy looking page,” Williams said. “I’d really hate to miss out if this one is real.”
And despite the fact that the News Thump article was evidently a satire, many social media users were fooled when, recently, some Facebook users shared an image taken from the article out of context.
Many Facebook users shared the message that Zuckerberg was giving out $1,000 to every user if they stopped sharing “stupid hoaxes,” but only a few saw the News Thump “About” page where the website describes itself as a satire website.
“News Thump is a satirical and spoof news website… It is our stated aim to mock absolutely everyone, eventually.”
“We are not afraid to skip a few steps like checking facts or corroborating sources, and we never let the truth ruin a funny story.”
The latest Facebook viral hoax comes soon after another old hoax that claimed that Facebook was making all private posts public went viral online once again.
According to the hoax message, users could stop Facebook from making all their posts public by posting a legal notice on their Facebook wall.
“I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, messages or posts, both past and future. By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute).”
The latest viral hoax also comes after Zuckerberg reacted to the recent uproar over the decision by Facebook board member and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, to donate $1.25 million to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign.
“I want to quickly address the questions and concerns about Peter Thiel as a board member and Trump supporter,” Zuckerberg said, according to CNN Money. “We can’t create a culture that says it cares about diversity and then excludes almost half the country because they back a political candidate.”
“There are many reasons a person might support Trump that do not involve racism, sexism, xenophobia or accepting sexual assault,” he added.
[Featured Image by Panom/Shutterstock]