When ludicrous literates goes lazy and crazy, this is what exactly happens over Facebook. Rumors, chain-mails, scams, pranks & hoaxes spread like a wildfire as because of those thoughtless ‘likes’ & ‘shares’. Ascertaining the claim, citations, source and authenticity of those mindless campaigns is a grave sin for many who lives on information highway. Then there are few good men who’d do it for the sake of mass awareness – but, wouldn’t you ensure the ‘eatability’ and suitability of food prior to serving ?
Annoyed by such chain-mails and faux forwards, I decided to make a compilation and go vocal against the same. Below is the ruthless autopsy of such rumors and pranks which surfaced and got widespread due to tomfoolery on Facebook.
Debunking Popular Facebook Rumors & Scams
1. Facebook Suffering Obesity
There are many complaints that facebook has become unacceptably slow, The report shows that facebook has a number of nonactive members. They want us to re-post this message to see who is active and who is not. If you don’t post this message within 2 weeks… you will be removed in order to get more space. Post this on you wall to show that you are active in facebook
Reality : You are so in love with it that you can’t take a chance – right ? But as far as I know, none of the DotCom leaders will take such a crude step to clear some spaces to make more room for others. There is nothing like dormant account policy with it. And referring to official statement from Facebook could have made it prove yourself that you are still a conscious being. After all, Facebook is not going to consider any dieting plans to shed some unwanted fats it gained over the time.
Official statement from Facebook:
We will never use any of the following methods to tell you information, or ask for you to take an action:
- Your Wall
- An inbox message from a friend—in other words, chain letters.
- Messages spread through Applications—if an application is telling you that Facebook is about to shut down, report it.
Since there’s been a lot of wrong information about Facebook spreading around, we’d like to clarify a few things for the record:
- We are not shutting down accounts that are not “active” enough.
- We are not going to start charging you to use Facebook.
- We will never ask you to send us your password or login information.
- We will never put the responsibility on YOU to send information to your friends. If we have information we need to share, it’s our job to get the word out.
- When we do communicate to you about the site (with the exception of posts made on this blog) it will always be from a collective Facebook. You won’t hear from me, personally, or from Mark, or from Dustin, or from any of the Facebook bloggers you’ve seen here.
2. Mercy Plea
A 14 years old boy got beaten half dead by his stepfather. He only tried to protect his little sister from being raped. Now he’s struggling for his life,but doctors say he won’t make it without a surgery. His mother doesn’t have money to pay it. Facebook donates 45cents for every sharing or reposting. Please help.
Reality : This one tries to abuse the emotional chord of every another people reading it. But the trickery lies in the last statement of the so called compassionate campaign. If biggies like Facebook would have to donate, they would do it in the lump sum, NOT something like pay-per-like or pay-per-share which has got nothing to do with their business. Donation on the basis of number of such messages being Facebooked, re-posted, liked, shared, tweeted, e-mailed and so on is nothing but a farcical claim and must be trashed mercilessly. Also, checking it with official Facebook Blog or resources and newslinks maybe the key.
3. Bloody Pepsi/Cola Issue
For next few days don’t drink any product from Pepsi company like Pepsi, Tropicana juice, Slice, 7up etc…!, as a worker from the company has added his blood contaminated with AIDS…! Watch NDTV…! If this is true, then it’s a very serious issue…!
Reality : Let me dissect the rumor with one-sentence at a time.
… For next few days … –> If this is an official statement from the authority in concern, then this MUST be accompanied with a date. My friends would/may see and share it after 1 month or so, then will this ‘news’ still be considered valid ? Such time based messages always comes along with a date and time.
… any product from Pepsi company like Pepsi, Tropicana juice, Slice, 7up etc…! –> Doesn’t it sounds like a conspiracy of the rival brands or Desi fanatics who’d just go any length to malign the company’s image ?
… a worker from the company has added his blood contaminated with AIDS … –> I’m bewildered of the divine and omnipresence of that mischievous worker who at the same time was present at all the bottling plants of Pepsi, packaging plant of Tropicana and then takes a quantum jump to other plants like Slice and 7Up and allegedly “contaminates” the beverages.
… Watch NDTV…! –> Just to corroborate the claim. And even if NDTV airs this, it is of no wonder – after all, it is NDTV !!!
…If this is true, then it’s a very serious issue…! –> ‘IF this is true’, this says it all. I leave it on your guess !
Now, one for the general awareness – There is no proven evidence that HIV can be transmitted via food or drinks. Also, here is what CDC has to say over the issue :
HIV does not live long outside the body. Even if small amounts of HIV-infected blood or semen was consumed, exposure to the air, heat from cooking, and stomach acid would destroy the virus. Therefore, there is no risk of contracting HIV from eating food.
Also, if Baba Ramdev is to be believed, then Pepsi itself is far more poisonous than blood contaminated with AIDS !
4. Lost And Found
If you find any important documents like Driving License (DL), Ration Card, Passport, Bank Passbook, Voter’s Card etc. missed by some one, simply put them into near by post boxes. They will be delivered to the owner and postal fee or fine will be collected from them”. New Law by Govt……click like and Pass on this useful & imp information….share as much as possible.
Reality : Checking it in the reverse of such documents and cards will reveal that they are the property of issuing authority NOT the holder. So, if such official documents and cards are lost, then they are supposed to reach the authority in concern, not the holder until and unless you know them personally. And what about PAN cards which have no address ? !
5. Blast From The Past – Queen of Jhansi’s Portrait
Fake photograph of Jhansi Ki Rani Laxmibai being circulated over Facebook. The image also earns credibility as because of being printed in Newspaper with IBN being the image courtesy.
Reality : Pictorial fakery at its height. And fake image is a litmus material for moral-hypocrisy of any internet user. One would dig it till eternity to ensure if the nude pic of celebs doing rounds is doctored or not with minutest of detail. But when a spurious picture of a woman who is synonymous to valor and courage in Indian history surfaces, positive skepticism goes for a toss. This uber-cool portrait of a woman did round in the media first, then was finally adopted by Facebook users to continue with the nuisance. What raised my doubt was the level of clarity that the image imbibes which wasn’t possible back then in 1850-60s. Prominent hair strands, image contrast, modern lighting arrangements, ambiance, soft focus etc – these were alien terms and techniques with Camera Obscura or Daguerreotype. And one can refer to this blog which honestly rubbishes the claim with all the facts available.
6. Currency Conundrum
SBI guidelines- Public News 4 a true Indian: Bcoz of written Rupee note, Indian Govt. has Rs.2638 cr loss per year..plz don’t write anything on Rupee Note bcoz they can’t be used for std transactio ns..Eg u can’t find written notes in ATM…plz paste it on ur status so that everyone become aware of the fact….a useful message is better than many jokes……..
Reality : ‘Public News 4 a true Indian’ … doesn’t it cunningly challenges the gut ? By no means I’m advocating to write rubbish over the currency notes, but I also remember cashiers at any bank punching in the total value of amount collected on the bundle themselves. And my limited knowledge of Indian Economy also tells me that it is RBI which releases such guidelines NOT SBI. Secondly, that Rs. 2638 Cr loss is yet another absurdity to be noticed. If notes are torn or soiled or mutilated, then it is REPLACED back in circulation (though minting and printing cost maybe considered), but there is nothing like if Indian Govt. is losing out from its treasury. I wish guys bothered to authenticate this worthless piece information from here …
UPDATE : There was a new guideline from RBI against above discussed practice with tentative dates of enforcement. But weather the authority says it or not, kindly refrain from scribbling over currency notes.
7. Child Abuse
If you have a function/party at your home and if there is excess food available at the end, don’t hesitate to call ****123**** (only in India) – child helpline. They will come and collect the food. Please circulate this message which can help feed many children.
Reality : Pranksters should have spared them at least. And the authority in concern was so annoyed with this that they had to put a permanent pop-up denying the claim which reads :
Warning : We understand there is a chain mail circulating that says – one should call up 1098 to pick up left over food after a party etc so that it is not wasted. This is not true. We are India ‘s only and most widespread Children’s phone emergency outreach service (1098) for children in need of care and protection. We do not pick up food or distribute food. This mail was not initiated by us, kindly do not circulate it. Your cooperation is appreciated.
And one should also think twice before sharing it with solidarity followed by false belief that they are fueling mass awareness. One’s negligence can get those phone-lines choked which is there for a noble purpose. And those poor children are no animals who would feed on leftovers and clean up your gastronomic mess.
8. Chemical Catastrophe
ATTENTION……………….!!!!!!!!!!Medical research unit of US hasfound a new cancer in humanbeings caused by ‘silver nitro-oxide’…..so whenever we buy mobilerecharge cards,they should not be…………scratched by nail….coz theycontains ‘silver nitro-oxide’coating. ……which can causeskin cancer…. ….copy n paste the status and spread awareness……
Reality : To hell with that ghostly Medical research unit of US. Even a student like me who passed his high school Chemistry with grace marks can afford to claim that there is NO CHEMICAL CALLED SILVER NITRO OXIDE. Few of my friends would generously flaunt their (ivy league) college and university names in their Facebook profiles, but I wonder where all those scholastic aptitude goes prior to hitting the “share” button and making it go viral.
But those who are still very paranoid to it can opt for e-recharges ! I’m though better off following this link which enlightens me over the materials that are used to make scratch cards …
9. ATM Absurdity
In the spite of armed robbery, here is something you may really need.When a thief forces you to take money from the atm, do not argue or resist, you might not know what he or she might do to you.What you should do is to punch your pin in the reverse, i.e if your pin is 1254, you punch 4521.the moment you punch in the reverse, the money will come out but will be stuck into the machine half way out and it will alert police without the notice of the thief. Every atm has it, it is specially made to signify danger and help.Not everyone is aware of this.Forward this to all your friends and those you care for.
Reality : A bank will cram in every necessary info and unnecessary documents (promotions and flyer) while handling me the welcome kit with every new account – why would they miss it, even in the fine prints? This was the first question that crossed my mind negating the ‘life saving’ info above. Further googling revealed that this technology indeed exists but haven’t been deployed anywhere in the world (by the time article has been written), let alone the country like India where its efficacy is still doubted. Also, if the banks would install this system with considerable expense, then why it would shy away to inform its customers – ridiculous. And what if my PIN number is palindrome number like 1331 or something like 2266 or 7777 – will I be kept out of the privilege?
10. Bright But Not Right
An image of India at night being circulated with the description that it has been taken by Indian Air Force during the festival Diwali.
Reality : Well, the picture is not fake, but the description is. First of all, fighter jets with India wont go to that high which will be able to take Indian sub-continent as a whole in its frame. Writing ISRO instead of IAF might have added some credibility (truth being that it has been taken by Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, USA). The picture is a COMPOSITE IMAGE depicting change in illumination over the country from the year 1992-2003. Read here for details …
And the pass-pass game arrives every now and then. Be it Govt deciding India’s fate with total number SMS and phonecalls on particular number to pass Lokpal Bill. Then Sai Baba & other Deities suffering identity crisis to such an extent that they start demanding being forwarded to at least 15-20 more stupids, in return of which they promise you the heaven, else, hell will break lose over the chain-breaker. And Facebook going paid eventually also made my day !
Points To Ponder (for blind Shareholics & Likeholics)
- Google can be your saving grace, and its usage it not only limited to mp3 downloads, celeb search, gadget reviews, porn, shopping deals etc.
- I know you agreed over non-existent policy of Facebook’s copy-paste-commitment, but promises are meant to be broken – isn’t it ?
- Delete button is meant for what it sounds like, it wont detonate a dynamite beneath your posterior.
- Common sense is nothing sort of a hurdle that must be abandoned while surfing. You must retain it, after all, GOD gave it to you as a scarce commodity.
- Your Czarist (or Socialist) trait shows up only when Online, or does it have any Offline avatar too ?
- You are one in the crowd who firmly believes that let the Grammar and Punctuation in those official statements be damned. So, such mistakes in those ‘gazette’ seldom catches your attention with a belief that Govt too wants to follow Hip-Hop angrezi.
- On a serious note, your imbecility may cost someone a life. Kindly refrain from chain-mailing the nonsense which doesn’t have any merit to them. Bother to look for citations, cross check it with news-papers, press releases or channels or any trusted sources & testify the veracity of claim. And think before you ‘share’ or ‘like’, who knows that you might be propagating rumors or helping scamsters – both knowingly and unknowingly.
Dedicated to all my friends and foes who made my facebook newsfeed a hell with their nonsensical behavior of SHARING anything blindly … just anything …