Several of the quirks of online communication are revealed by a Facebook hoax. First, Brandon Na’s blog reveals the amount of traffic he has received as a result of people using search engines to check on the authenticity of the message. Just by discussing the hoax, his post is popping up high in Google and hence, added oomph, which gives it search engine juice etc etc.
Back to the hoax itself, I have only received it from a couple of my Facebook Friends, it says:
Attention all Facebook membeRs.Facebook is recently becoming very overpopulated,There have been many members complaining that Facebookis becoming very slow.Record shows that the reason isthat there are too many non-active Facebook membersAnd on the other side too many new Facebook members.We will be sending this messages around to see if theMembers are active or not,If you’re active please sendto other users using Copy+Paste to show that you are activeThose who do not send this message within 2 weeks,The user will be deleted without hesitation to create more space,If Facebook is still overpopulated we kindly ask for donations but until then send this message to all your friends and make sure you sendthis message to show me that your active and not deleted.Founder of FacebookMark Zuckerberg
There ought to be a number of clues that this is not a credible message. The poor presentation alone is a red flag. In addition, why would Facebook rely on us proving that our account is active when they have the backroom data to see what we are doing? One of the key aspects of Facebook is that it records our every move and hence recent concerns over the use of this information.
The second big warning is the mention of donations. I’m not sure if the originators just get pleasure from seeing their message passed around or if there is some scam going on. But in any case, it is interesting from a public relations perspective that Facebook does not appear to have picked up on the hoax itself.
One of the considerations of why this hoax is being passed on is that it picks up on something that people feel may just be true in terms of too many people using Facebook. This also ought to be a warning signal to the Facebook folk – is the bubble about to burst?
Anyway, I have informed my kind Friends that this is a hoax – so if like Brandon’s visitors, you’ve come here for verification, then you too can feel smug enough to have avoided passing it on.