The colourful world of Facebook BFF HOAX
Every now and then, if you still check your Facebook feed, you see people that post all sorts of crazy stuff. Most of them are jokes, some are interesting facts and others are just…meh. So that is one of the beautiful things that this social media platform does to keep people around. If you have something to share, you can just do it without any fear of repercussion. (There still are, though. So remember that).
Anyway, a lot of this ones are mostly just trends and fads that blow away in a few days. But it is nice to talk about them when they’re popular, so in that case let’s address the BFF spam. Or hoax.
Mark is our BFF HOAX
The way this works is quite simple. So simple and genius, in fact, that I wouldn’t be surprised if 4chan would be behind it in the first place. At its core, it prying on people need for privacy, and now that Facebook is under everyone’s radar, this is the best time to push a prank like this. It all starts with a post, like all good things do, that got viral and made people afraid for their data.
The post goes something like this-
“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 will be hacked.”
All plastered over a very poorly made blue background and some cheap effects. (Another clue that leads me to believe that it might be a 4chan creation). So, the cheap vibe I get fromm it make me think it might be intentionally. So the smell of a prank should have been imprinted onto everyone. But, shock and behold, that didn’t happened. No sir, it became viral. Fast, like an oily filled wildfire.
You might have heard that some people got the BFF word to get green, and others didn’t. Doesn’t that mean that it works? I mean, it happened just like it says in the post. The problem with that is, if you just google it, you might found something interesting.
The first one’s to report the falsity of the post were the guys at Scoopes.com. Besides the fact that they declared this a prank, they also gave a simple explanation for it. An update done by Facebook last year. A little feature called Text Delight. And there are tons of tutorials on how to use it.
Oh, no, sparkly words, my worst enemy
Somewhere in October, 2017, Facebook added more features to their text-animation program. Before, when you typed things like “congrats” or “xoxo”, you got a little animation. Or it changed colours. Guess what else they have done in the meantime? They simply added more animations and easters eggs to the list. Among the words people have found is also BFF. And does some things. Sometimes it shows two hands holding, or flying, other times it gets green. For some people it doesn’t.
When Facebook introduced this little trinket, they also separated the functions based of geolocation. So you might have some words in your native language that activate in your country, but not in others. We can image, that when a person in New Papua Guinea uses BFF, their text might not turn green.For americans, on the other though, it will do the opposite. So it depends a lot on what settings you have Facebook.
Just to help out a bit, here is a list of the special words gathered around the web.
you’re the best
you got this
you’ve got this
you can do it
Besos y abrazos
Я люблю тебя
Я люблю вас
Kys og knus
Just throwing ideas
So now that we know that it was all a big prank, what should we do? Well, at first it looks like an innocent hoax, because all it does is makes people to change their passwords. The reason why I am sort of suspecting that it was started on site notorious for trying to trick everyone is because of that requirement exactly. At this moment, a lot of people have commented on each of this posts. And some of them might have other two, or three accounts. So imagine what might happen to the Facebook servers if thousands try to change their password at about the same time. And let’s not forget all the apps that use Facebook accounts, trying to synch with the new password.
For now I didn’t see anything that took the social media platform down, but maybe that was the intent? Not for good, it is too massive for that, but as a reminder possibly? Maybe they were trying to send a message, that it still depends on the people to keep on going?
Maybe I drank too much Kool-Aid, who knows? Both are a possibility. Still, for the moment you shouldn’t be scared if you felt for the prank though. It isn’t anything that grave, but it showed how much people actually search before they act.
Still, I am still looking over the development of this hoax to see if my tin-foiled ideas might come to fruition.