Becoming a Mother or Father Warning Message - Facebook Rumour
Other Keywords: Becoming a Mother of Father was the Greatest Gift of Life
collected March 2012
collected April 2013
This long running hoax has been circulating in one form or another since the very beginning of 2010, and is one of the first hoaxes that uses the controversial bait of using Facebook paedophiles to alarm Facebook users into propagating it throughout the social networking site.
The message is completely bogus, and there is absolutely no evidence or reason to support the unfounded and illogical assertion that groups with the name described in the messages above is run by - or has anything to do with - paedophiles.
The message is flawed in several ways. Firstly, if there was any evidence or indication that groups with this name were indeed run by or connected to paedophiles then they would presumably be removed by Facebook.
Also the "warning" makes little sense any way since joining a group doesn’t make it easier for the admins of that group to access a Facebook users photos any way (if your photos are private they are still private to the admins of any group you are a member of) so the fundamental point of the message is illogical regardless.
Also worth noting is that there was not even a group with that name at the time the rumour first began to circulate in early 2010, yet many groups with similar or identical names were created after the rumour became prolific in an attempt to capitalise on the viral success of these hoax messages.
This hoax warning seems designed purely to needlessly worry and alarm Facebook users, and should not be circulated.
Popular variants of this hoax also include the assertion that the story was featured on Fox 5 news. However this is untrue and no credible news outlet has reported on this story.
Of course paedophiles can and do use Facebook and all parents, guardians and children who use the site should understand how to use the social networking site sensibly and safely. However hoax messages like this will only result in trivialising and detracting from a serious issue.
Curiously this message seems to become most prolific during May of each year. The message became popular in May 2010, 2011, 2012 and towards the end of April 2013.
Social media and the Internet is rife with rumour, misinformation, propaganda and untruth. It is like this because people can be irresponsible with what information they choose to share.
Our community works hard to try and debunk and assist in as many cases as possible, as well as teach people how to share responsibly. We believe it is important that anyone who uses the Internet be able to identify false rumours and fully understands the possible consequences of spreading false information.
If you are interested in this, feel free to read our two-part blog. Part 1 deals with how to spot and debunk Internet rumours and Part 2 deals with the reasons why you should never circulate false information.
Additionally if you have fallen for this rumour or have Facebook friends that have, you can join our growing Facebook page here or sign up to our mailing list here.