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How To Spot A Facebook Hoax

Once again recently people have fallen for a hoax that asks you to copy and paste a status update that will save you paying £5.99 or $5.99 otherwise your posts will be public.

I have to say I saw many social media commentators pick up on this than people who fell for it. Yes I know – guilty as charged.

It is an easy hoax to spot. It isn’t in Facebook’s interests to make users pay for the service, users are its product. Nearly 1 and a half Billion people globally use a Facebook account. According to recent reports each user in the United States generates $12.76 a year and that figure is expected to continue to rise. That’s a lot of money.

With revenues such as this why would they alienate their database by asking them to pay? The reality is that where Facebook ads are concerned we as users are the product.

Another hoax that has recently done the rounds is one purporting to be from British Airways. Again users were asked to share an update to win free flights. Now either the British Airways marketing team haven’t read the Facebook competition rules, they assigned it to a student on work experience or this is a hoax.

You can run competitions on your Facebook page but you are expressly forbidden to ask people to share on their timelines or those of other people or tag other people in the post. If you see posts such as this by a big brand or indeed anyone assume it is a hoax.

As a business owner Facebook competitions can be a great way to promote your business. As well as posting on your page you can also install an app to run the competition. Asking people to like and comment isn’t the way to grow your business so your post should link to either your website or use an app to enable you to capture the data of the entrants.

We hope this has provided you with the information to spot a Facebook hoax. If you are a business owner who would like help running a competition that meets the Facebook rules and benefits your business please contact me on 01491 524002. Alternatively drop me an email.


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