Likes, shares and comments on Facebook rarely translate into actual social good, and a new post going viral on the social network this week about a boy with a “massive tumour” is yet another example of this kind of false charity. This sad post is a thinly-veiled hoax designed to take advantage of your good-natured gullibility.
The post, which features an image of the boy above, promises that social shares will power a campaign from Facebook and CNN that will donate $1 per like, $10 per comment, and $20 per share toward the boy’s surgery.
Facebook and CNN aren’t running any such social sharing campaign, and as Hoax-Slayer points out, the true motive of the person(s) who created the post is to drive likes for a particular Facebook page, which will later be scrubbed and sold to the highest bidder with its pre-built audience.
The photograph used (which we can’t embed here because AP and copyright) is actually from this 2012 news story. The story is about a 9-year-old Mexican boy named “Jose” who was taken to the United States for medical treatment for a tumor he has had since birth. It’s a moving story about how his family fled their home in gang-infested Juarez to secure treatment for him stateside, and the asshats trying to game likes and shares off his story are, in laymans, the worst kind of douchebags.
In summation, if you see the “massive tumour” post, report it. Facebook has been known to take down hoax posts in the past. Similar “sick child hoaxes” frequently make rounds on social networks, so make sure to always second-guess the nature of a viral post and check out SocialNewsDaily’s “Hoaxed” series for more on these viral scams.