Privacy hoax adds to Facebook’s worries


  • A recent rumour making the rounds is that a chain-letter is being circulated on Facebook propagating that user’s accounts have been cloned.
  • Snopes, a fact-checking website, has determined that the messages are nothing more than a hoax riding on people’s privacy fears.
  • Facebook spokesperson confirms that messages have made the rounds and there has been no actual increase in the number of cloned accounts.
After the social networking giant, Facebook, reported that that 50 million accounts on its platform had been hacked, another security breach has been making the rounds with users claiming that their account had been ‘cloned’.

According to the Snopes, it’s a only misinformation piggybacking on the recent privacy concerns that Facebook has had to deal with. No data, messages, photos or videos have been compromised. They caution that while this particular incident isn’t true, the cloning of Facebook accounts is still a very common problem on the site.

Is my Facebook account safe?

If you’ve received a message on Facebook that reads a little something like,

“Hi....I actually got another friend request from you which I ignored so you may want to check your account. Hold your finger on the message until the forward button appears...then hit forward and all the people you want to forward too....I had to do the people individually. PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT A NEW friendship FROM ME AT THIS TIME.”

Then, you probably haven’t been hacked.

‘Pirates’ that usually go around cloning Facebook accounts copy your name, profile picture and some basic information to have the account look real and send out friend requests to the people on your list. The aim to lure in a bunch of people onto the new account so that their personal information can be access using your profile as a mask.

This message resonates more like a chain-letter meant to go viral and cause panic The Facebook spokesperson commented that in comparison to the volume of messages being spread, there is no spike in the number of clone accounts on Facebook.

This isn’t even the first time this has happened. In the past, rumours of Facebook restricting user friends lists to 26 people went viral with people sharing the ‘news’ as rapidly as they could.

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