Visit the New Facebook Warning - Internet/Facebook Rumour
Other Keywords: Visit the New Timeline Warning
Warnings are spreading across Facebook that request users be on the watch out for links posted by friends that read "visit the new Facebook".
Similar variants claim the links read "visit the new Timeline" or "Tour the new Facebook".
Examples of the warnings can be seen below.
PASSING ALONG JUST IN CASE - PASSNG ON INFORMATION: THIS NOTICE IS DIRECTED TO EVERYONE WHO HAS A PAGE ON FACEBOOK: IF SOME PEOPLE IN YOUR PROFILE OR YOUR FRIENDS SEND YOU A LINK WITH WORDS "VISIT THE NEW FACEBOOK ` & THERE IS THE LINK BELOW, DO NOT OPEN! IF YOU OPEN IT YOU CAN SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR PAGE. ITS A HACKER WHO STEALS YOUR DETAILS & REMOVES YOU FROM YOUR OWN PAGE. COPY & SPREAD THE WORD
collected May 2011
collected November 2011
collected April 2012
Spurious warnings like this are commonplace on Facebook, loosely basing themselves on potential threats but ultimately contain so much nonsense that they actually serve little purpose whatsoever.
The warnings have been spreading across social media – almost verbatim – for a number of years now, with the first versions appearing in 2011. But the history goes back even further, since they were based on earlier similar warnings about "hackers" looking to steal your Facebook Pages.
The warning is valid in one sense, and that is you should not be clicking on suspicious links on websites like Facebook, even if it appears like your friends posted those links. A variety of threats can cause a Facebook account belonging to a friend to start sending out spam links.
However there has never been any serious threat that matches those described in the warning messages. Not when they first began appearing, and not now. Thus spreading such warnings is simply counter-productive. Real threats that try and trick users into clicking dodgy links are real, but given how often the descriptions of the spam link change, you would be better off sharing real advice on how to avoid such scams.
Another fallacy presented in the warning is that by merely clicking a link on Facebook you are in effect "handing over your page" or allowing someone to steal your details. This is plainly wrong. Whilst many scams trick users into clicking links they shouldn’t do, that act alone is unlikely to result in any of the consequences detailed in the warnings
Ultimately the warning is useless and presents too much misinformation to be of any use, and we don’t recommend sharing it.
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