Welcome to today’s Ask a Tech Geek. There has been a few Facebook/Social Media questions that will be covered over the next few weeks.

Today’s Question.

I have friends tell me some of the posts I re-post are Hoax.  How do I know if I am sharing hoaxes?

For many of us, Social media is a way to stay connected; to share our experience with other; to support our friends; and to make new connections. Unfortunately for unscrupulous people, we are subjects in their social experiment to make their deceptive messages go viral.

Like weeds in a garden, Social Media has several types’ hoaxes that spread and grow like wild. The reason why they spread so quickly is because they prey on our emotional response.

The composer of these and future hoaxes, makes sure the posts sound true enough to give us an emotional response usually fear, anger and/or mistrust, this giving the reader the need to share it.  These hoaxes can look like actual news articles, warning and chain letters. They may ask you to share in several ways.

With critical thinking and a quick Google search of the content of these posts be assured that you have not fallen prey to share these hoaxes

Here are a few samples of hoaxes being shared. Unfortunately they are not just limited to Facebook, they can be found on other social media platforms as well.

Copy-and-Paste Posts

  1. Promising to ‘Bypass,’ ‘Reset’ Facebook

This post has been circulating since 2018.  While it promises you that if you copy and share this post, asking friends to say hi or leave a reply, has no bearing on the Facebook’s algorithm.  Their Algorithm is based on who you interact with the most and those will show up in your newsfeed first.  (Next week we will talk about how to change and adjust your news feed.) Fact Check

  1. Everything you’ve ever posted becomes public from tomorrow.

Facebook will not make you message or photos public. This post has been around since 2012. Some of the content within the post varies from year to year the premises is remains the same. Fact Check

Private/Direct Messaging

  1. I actually got another friend request from you yesterday…which I ignored so you may want to check your account. Hold your finger on the message until the forward button appears…then hit forward and all the people you want to forward too….I had to do the people individually. Good Luck! 

This hoax has been circulating across since the fall of 2018. You may receive this in a private message. While pirating Facebook accounts has happen it is rarer than the hype that has been given it. Fact Check

  1. Facebook will soon begin charging users per message unless they forward a message to 10 contacts to prove they are “avid” users.

Facebook is and will always remain free. You can leave your account idle for years it will still remain free. Fact Check

Warnings using Memes

  1. Sex traffickers are leaving zip ties on the cars, homes and mailboxes of potential targets of the crime.

There are various versions of this post with pictures that make it seem so real especially when Sex Trafficking is a real and problematic issue in our society. Good News there has not been one police report anywhere about Sex traffickers using zip ties to target potential victims Fact Check

There are hundreds of hoaxes posted on social media, does that mean we should stop sharing posts. Absolutely not, it just means we must use critical thinking when we read something on social media.  If it invokes a strong emotional response, before sharing take a moment and research it to see if it is a hoax or not.

Here is a funny video to help remind us about critical think.

 

Thanks to our website visitor for asking this question. Next week we will cover the questions on adjusting Facebook news feeds and how to make sure your account does not become compromised.

If you have a question you would like to have answered. Here are three ways you can.

  1. Leave a comment on this post,
  2. Use our  Send a Messagepage
  3. Email our Geek at techgeek@wallaceburgadultactivitycentre.ca

Till next time stay safe, stay healthy and most of all stay positive.

Your Resident Geek.

 

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