Facebook has been under scrutiny since a report last week indicating users' data had been exploited.
People are worried about their Facebook accounts. The hashtag #DeleteFacebook has been popular, and searches on "how to delete Facebook" have spiked this week, according to Google.
Some pages are capitalizing on the fear with Facebook posts making some interesting claims.
A Facebook post circulating from several pages claims that typing the letters "BFF" in a comment on the post can determine if your account is compromised or not.
One post reads:
"Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, invented the word BFF, to make sure your account is safe on Facebook. Type BFF in a comment,
if it appears green, your account is protected.
If it does not appear in green, change your password immediately because it may be hacked by someone."
This claim is false. Typing a comment on a random Facebook post does not protect you from anything.
Based on the comments, people are falling for the ploy.
Typing "BFF" in a comment will sometimes show up as green text. It's part of a Facebook feature that shows animations and different-colored text, triggered by certain words like "congratulations." "BFF" stands for "best friend forever." When you type "BFF" on the Facebook app, an animation of hands appears. The hands high-five with fireworks.
The nature of the post helps perpetuate the falsehood.
A Facebook user's comment makes a post more likely to be seen by that user's friends and by people who "like" the page. This is one symptom of the algorithm used by Facebook to determine what shows up in your feed.
The result is an unfortunate cycle of misinformation. Person A falls for it, then Person B sees the post because of Person A's comment. Person B comments and three more people see the post. The "fake news" spreads exponentially because of how posts are served to users.
You can identify and avoid "comment bait" posts like this too. This post is vague. It will "protect you"? How? What is it protecting you from?
This post makes no sense, either. Why would Zuckerburg make an Easter egg for securing accounts? If there was a new Facebook security feature, it would serve them well to roll it out to everyone immediately.
PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY: Here's how to protect your personal info on Facebook