Facebook Hoax Tricks Users Into Thinking They Could Win Mark Zuckerberg’s Shares

Mark Zuckerberg
FILE - In this March 25, 2015, file photo, Mark Zuckerberg talks about the Messenger app during the Facebook F8 Developer Conference in San Francisco. Brazilians awoke to a day without WhatApp Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015 after a judge ordered the popular messaging app blocked throughout the country for 48 hours.Zuckerberg, who heads WhatsApp's parent company Facebook, indicated in a Facebook post that the case was related to the company's attempt to guard customers' data. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

New York (ABC News) – The prospect of cashing in on Facebook’s millions appears to have duped many of the social media site’s users.

A message began circulating on Facebook earlier this month falsely claiming that Zuckerberg said that if users liked a specific legitimate post that he had shared, posted a specific message explaining the alleged giveaway and tagged five friends on that post, then they would have a chance to win some shares of the company.

The supposed payout: 10 percent of the estimated $45 billion worth of Facebook shares that Zuckerberg announced he is donating to charity.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Celebrates Birth of Daughter With Pledge to Give Away 99% of Shares

Variations of the hoax message have been posted online, with some praising Zuckerberg for his “forward-thinking generosity” and others saying they saw the story verified on “Good Morning America,” which never ran any story about the message but did accurately report Zuckerberg’s original planned $45 billion donation to charity, as did many other media outlets.

It’s unclear who posted the original hoax, but Facebook has since confirmed to ABC News that the online claims are “untrue.”

On December 9th, the company posted an update on their own Facebook page countering the bogus story.

“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,” the post reads.

This is far from the first apparent hoax calling for users to share a specific message, as the ruse has been tested many times before.

For the skeptical social media users, there were a couple of clues that indicate that something was off. The first is several typos in the message that had to be copied. The second was that some versions of the post said users would be notified they won via an emoticon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s