Help Us Stop the Sick Baby Facebook Hoax
Our effort to stop this sick hoax.
Facebook has been plagued with hoaxes practically ever since it became the worlds top social networking site on the Internet all those years ago. Many of these hoaxes are merely time wasting exercises simply designed to trick Facebook users into looking silly, such as the classic "Facebook is shutting down" status updates which persist endlessly on the site, or perhaps the “Facebook is charging” joke that just never disappears.
However there is one specific hoax that is certainly not harmless, and it is one that we at ThatsNonsense.com as well as several other of the Internet's leading scambusting websites have worked hard at trying to make disappear.
It's the "sick baby Facebook hoax" which involves images of sick, injured or disabled children circulating the site under the false claim that sharing or liking the photo will invoke donations in aid of the child. Many of these hoaxes state that Facebook will donate money, others use other companies or charities.
These hoaxes typically state something like "1 share = $1" or similar. Not only are these hoaxes always utterly untrue they are particularly sick because the photos of the children have essentially been stolen elsewhere from the Internet and used without the permission of the child or it's carers/guardians/parents. Essentially the sick child's photo is being exploited for the hoax, and for the twisted enjoyment of the hoaxer. Actually in many cases sharing or liking the photos will end up making a scammer money.
An example of a photo that is used in this sick hoax
In fact in certain cases the hoaxers have taken photos of children who have since passed away and used them in these hoaxes.
Of course the hoaxes that manage viral "success" can be shared hundreds of thousands of times and can cause great distress to the families of the children in the photos.
We have teamed up with several other websites including Facecrooks, The Bulldog Estate, Hoax-Slayer and the Facebook Security&Privacy Guide to both help spread the truth about these hoaxes and to explain what users need to do if they come across these photos.
So what should you do?
It's pretty simple what you can do to help us combat these hoaxes –
1. Never Share or Like these photos. If you do you are playing right into the hoaxers hands and potentially causing great distress to the families involved, and of course you’re passing false information to all of your Facebook friends. In fact sharing and liking the photos will likely end up making the unscrupulous spammer who posted the photo lots of money.
2. Avoid commenting on the photos. Even if you know the photo is a hoax a comment can make the post appear on the tickers of your Facebook friends and can help spread the photo. Not many people read the comments attached to a photo anyway.
3. Instead of a comment you can send a private message to the person who uploaded the photo and explain it is a sick hoax and ask them to remove it.
4. Report the photo. Many people who upload these photos will never take then down voluntarily, so Facebook will do it for you. Make Facebook aware of the photo by clicking the Report option.
In the pop-up photo viewer you can report the photo under the options men, else the report photo is underneath “download”.
5. Report the photo to the Stop Sick Children Hoaxes Facebook group run by one of the admins of the Bulldog Estate here.
You can read about this hoax in our blog post here.
Since these hoaxes begun we have managed to educated many , many thousands of Facebook users and that number is still rising. Every time one of these hoaxes is uploaded it is removed faster than ever and more and more Facebook users are aware of the true nature of these hoaxes. We’re winning the battle, one user at a time. Help us and spread the word!