A new hoax is floating around Facebook, which claims that the site’s co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is giving away US$4.5 million (approximately RM19 million) to 1,000 randomly selected Facebook users who post a specific thank you message and tag at least five of their friends. This particular hoax began circulating online shortly after Mark’s announcement that he has a baby daughter and pledged to donate 99% of his Facebook shares.
Here’s the message in its entirety:
“THANK YOU, MARK ZUCKERBERG, for your forward-thinking generosity! And congrats on becoming a dad!
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 and tag 5-10 of your friends. 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.
I hope someone I know gets a piece of the pie — let me know if you do!!!”
The part where he will donate his Facebook shares is at least true, as he joins a number of billionaires who have committed to donating their wealth for charitable causes. Even though he never stated who will benefit from his philanthropy, the hoax message did not originate from the co-founder himself.
Sadly, there are users who do believe in the chain letter and proceed to share it around Facebook. This kind of hoax isn’t new, as it is one of the “something for nothing” japes that trick users into forwarding messages in exchange for large financial rewards. There was a similar hoax on Facebook in 2013 which claims that Bill Gates will giveaway US$5000 (RM 21,469) to users who share his (digitally edited) picture in the website.