Now There’s A Haiti Hoax On Facebook

Just call me Ms. Almost-Real-Time Snopes:

A friend sent me the following heads-up. Thank goodness your Facebook status isn’t as easy to forward as a tweet — and let’s pray that most of these folks are still keeping them out of Bing and Google algorithms:

One of my friends FB status is as follows:
PLEASE NOTE that this status is being tracked, the owners of facebook have confirmed they will send $1 to the rescue fund for the Haiti earthquake disaster for everytime this is cut and pasted as a status. You only have to leave it for a minimum of 1 hour. Lets all do our bit to help.

Folks, engage your brains just a little bit. Why would Zuckerman et al support such a passive action? I can certainly see them matching something active (such as an actual donation), but this? Copying and pasting a status update that requires no action on the part of the Facebook universe?

Facebook has set up a Global Disaster Relief page. Yesterday, they reported that at one point 1,500 status messages per minute mentioned Haiti. It’s unclear how many of these mentions were hoaxes, like this one, versus specific things people could do to help, such as texting-for-charity (there were two initiatives that I am aware of, one for $5 and one for $10).

Here is one list of reputable charities. The FBI reminds us that scammers will be at work (if they aren’t already).

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