Another Facebook FB +0.46% hoax has gone viral this month. According to the hoax, Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is giving away $4.5 million to 1,000 random people for simply copying and pasting a message into a post.
Dozens of users have been posting the message with different variations and some claimed that it is not a hoax. Other variations thanked Zuckerberg for his “forward-thinking generosity.” And another variation of the hoax said that a few people are “supposed to be blessed” with a gift smile emoticon that indicates they are a winner.
The hoax says: “According to Good Morning America, Not a hoax! Mark Zuckerberg has announced that he is giving away $45 billion 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.” This messages is clearly a hoax, but many people have still fallen for it. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed with NBC that this hoax was not true. Good Morning America said it never ran a story about the message. And earlier this month, Facebook also posted a status from its official account warning users about the hoax.
The hoax appears to be referring to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Following the birth of their daughter, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, recently announcedthat they will be giving away 99% of their Facebook shares to charitable causes — which amounts to roughly $45 billion. The initial focus of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will be curing disease, personalized learning and connecting people.
This is not the first hoax that went viral on Facebook. Some of the other scams that went viral on Facebook over the years includes a message that said users have to pay for their privacy, a message that claims it gives users copyright protection to their content,the “Secret Sister Gift Exchange” hoax, a “Game of Thrones” hoax, etc. Fortunately,Facebook announced at the beginning of the year that it was planning to reduce the number of hoaxes from appearing in the News Feed so you may not have seen the aforementioned message. Snopes.com, a website that reviews hoaxes on the Internet, confirmed that this is simply another “something for nothing” scam that regularly circulates on the Internet. This hoax may remind you of spam emails claiming Bill Gates is giving out his money to people that forwarded it to a certain number of friends.