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.
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.