There’s nothing like kicking it back and taking a gander at the latest streams on Facebook. Except for stalkers and maybe those annoying “share, if you care messages” which pop up from thin air. Internet’s most elaborate hoax was unmasked after a message made users believe that Zuckerberg is giving away all his fortune.
But let’s back up a bit. When did this all start? On the 1st of December, a rumor started to circulate around the web about Zuckerberg being in very charitable mood. This message followed closely after the social media giant officially announced that he will be donating 99 percent of his amassed fortune (29 million dollars) to charitable causes.
Moreover, following Zuckerberg’s statement, he will make this donation in order to mark a special occasion: the birth of his child with his wife, Priscilla Chan. According to his own statements, all the money from the donation will go into the newly formed Zuckerberg-Chan foundation. The foundation aims to bring education and technology to people from poor countries.
Now let’s get back to our hoax. Following Zuckerberg’s statement, there began circulating several rumors around Facebook that the tech giant is not actually giving the money to the foundation, but to Facebook users. According to this rumors, this is Zuckerberg’s way of saying thanks to the millions of Facebookers who supported his take on social media.
Here’s what the original post had to say:
Mark Zuckerberg has announced that he is giving away $45 billion of Facebook stock.
What you may no have heard is that he plan to give 10% of it away to people like YOU and ME! All you have to is copy and paste this message into a post IMMEDIATELY and ta 5-10 of your frientds.
At midnight PST, Facebook will search through the day’s posts 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 and philanthropy.
And if you were wondering, yes there were lots of people who were gullible enough to swallow this hoax and repost the message. Of course, Zuckerberg didn’t come from behind a cloud in order to bestow a bounty upon the Facebook believer.
According to some, this is one of the Internet’s tradition which dates back to 1997, when someone claimed that Bill Gates is allegedly giving money away if one is interested in participating in some beta test. Of course, you would have had to forward that message to your friends and family and not hoard it to yourself.