It’s quite an interesting thing to type the word “hoax” into Facebook’s search engine to see what types of hoaxes are still popular on New Year’s Day. The usual suspects show up: new articles about those who believe climate change is a hoax, along with other hoax reports. But one hoax has reared its ugly head again, with Facebook updates appearing every 20 minutes or so that feature someone on Facebook who has posted a variation of the Facebook stock hoax on their Facebook page.
“Good luck everyone. Can’t wait to see who the lucky recipients are…According to Good Morning America, Not a hoax! Mark Zuckerberg has announced that he is giving away $45 billon 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 post 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!!! I feel lucky!!! Worth a shot I guess, I could really use a few mill..$$”
The Facebook hoax about Mark Zuckerberg always screams that it’s not a hoax – when indeed it is a hoax. The supposed Good Morning America segment that all these folks on Facebook claim as a source is never linked to directly, nor is any valid Good Morning America video embedded in the person’s Facebook feed showing Zuckerberg actually saying that he will give away $45 billion in Facebook stock via Facebook — only if a person copies and pastes the hoax to their own Facebook pages.
A simple Google search for “Facebook hoax” and later, “Facebook stock hoax” results in articles like one from Forbes, titled “Facebook Hoax: Mark Zuckerberg Is Not Giving Away $4.5 Million To 1,000 Users.” That article was published in December 2015, so apparently, by December 2016, the Facebook hoaxsters had decided to keep using the $4.5 million hoax, claiming 1,000 Facebook users would win $4.5 million each. Therefore, with 1,000 Facebook users supposedly getting $4.5 million each, that translates to the $45 billion worth of Facebook stock allegedly being given away in the hoax.
Snopes debunked the Facebook hoax in 2015, in a post titled “Mark Zuckerberg Is Giving Away Money! Mark Zuckerberg is not giving $4.5 million to Facebook users who share a “thank you’ message.” That article was shared more than 456,000 times — and explained the source of the Facebook hoax. It all began with the Facebook post titled “A letter to our daughter,” published to Facebook by Zuckerberg on Tuesday, December 1, 2015. In the letter to Max, Mark declared that Zuckerberg and his wife would give away nearly all of their Facebook stock — worth about $45 billion at the time — to advance missions they believed in regarding healthcare and the environment and other issues around the world.
“We will give 99% of our Facebook shares — currently about $45 billion — during our lives to advance this mission.”
Those who took this kernel of truth about the $45 billion that Mark said they’d give over their lifetimes took it and ran with it to create the fake hoax about $45 billion in Facebook stock being given away. Since many hoax reports are based on a bit of truth, some people saw fit to spread the hoax about the $45 billion in stock — and its added lies about 1,000 Facebook users getting the Facebook stock — without doing much research into the hoax. Apparently, many Facebook users are still spreading the hoax about $45 billion worth of Facebook stock being given away, without first performing a Google search to debunk the hoax before spreading it to more Facebook users.
[Featured Image by Jeff Chiu/AP Images]