Zuckerberg Gives Millions to Facebook Users?

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Mark Zuckerberg Giveaway Hoax

Mark Zuckerberg supposedly gives away millions to Facebook users
Viral post claims Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has decided to thank Facebook users for helping make the company successful by giving away millions of dollars to people who share said post. Facebook.com

Description: Viral Facebook post / Hoax
Circulating since: Dec. 2015
Status: False

Example #1:
As shared on Facebook, December 9, 2015:

THANK YOU, MARK ZUCKERBERG, for your forward-thinking generosity! And congrats on becoming a dad! Mark Zuckerberg has announced that he is giving away $45 billion of Facebook stock. What you may not have heard is that he plans to give 10% of it away to people like YOU and ME! All you have to do is copy and paste this message into a post IMMEDIATELY. At midnight PST, Facebook will search through the day's posts and award 1000 people with $4.5 million EACH as a way of saying thank you for making Facebook such a powerful vehicle for connection and philanthropy.I hope someone I know gets a piece of the pie--let me know if you do!!!

Example #2:
As shared on Facebook, December 27, 2015:

So 4 hours from now. ..a few people are supposed to be blessed with the following gift smile emoticon Can't wait to see who the winners are tonight. Facebook Mark Zuckerberg is going to give away 4.5 million shares of his Facebook stock tonight at midnight; 10% to people like you and me! All you have to do is copy and paste this to your page and post. Facebook is doing this to show what a powerful tool of connection it is !!! Can't wait to see who wins !!! This is not a hoax!!! It's on Good Morning America!

Analysis: While it's true that on Dec. 1, 2015 Mark Zuckerberg announced that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, will donate 99 percent of their fortune to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative — a company created by them to "advance human potential and promote equality in areas such as health, education, scientific research and energy" — it's not true that Zuckerberg has announced a plan to give away 10 percent of that amount to Facebook users who copy and paste silly viral messages.

Think about it. If Zuckerberg had really said anything of the kind, it would have made international headlines, just like his actual announcement on Dec. 1. But it didn't.

Ladies and gentlemen of Facebook, you've been fooled, and you should know better. This kind of hoax has been around since the dawn of the Internet.

As a case in point, read this message, which circulated via forwarded email in 1999:

FW: Must Read!!!! Bill Gates

Hello everybody, My name is Bill Gates.  I have just written up an e-mail tracing program that traces everyone to whom this message is forwarded to.  I am experimenting with this and I need your help.  Forward this to everyone you know and if it reaches 1000 people everyone on the list will receive $1000 at my expense.  Enjoy.

Your friend,
Bill Gates

The circulation of this hoax and subsequent variations of it reached such proportions that Gates himself felt compelled to issue a statement about it. "Even more annoying than spam, in some respects, are hoaxes," he wrote. "I'm acutely aware of this because my name was recently attached to a hoax email message that was widely distributed." Gates characterized the message as "fraudulent" and "essentially a chain letter" — and rightly so. Yet despite his personal efforts to debunk it, the hoax went right on mutating and circulate for many years to come.


A 2013 revival of the Bill Gates giveaway hoax was passed around on Facebook in the form of a shared photo. The image showed Gates holding a handwritten sign that supposedly said, ""As some of you may know, I'm Bill Gates. If you click that share link, I will give you $5,000. I always deliver, I mean, I brought you Windows XP, right?"

Again, that it was a prank, and not real, should have been obvious to anyone, but the photo went on to be shared by untold thousands of users and became so notorious it merited a feature on the Today Show website.

Not a scam

There has evidently been some worry among social media users that the bogus Zuckerberg message may be a criminal scam of some sort. It isn't. It's simply a prank — not a particularly funny one, it's true — but that's all it is.