Facebook hoax: this child's got a cancer.

Facebook hoax: this child's got a cancer.

Summary: Scammers are pushing a sick hoax on Facebook, trying to get users of the service to share a photo of a baby who appears to have a cancerous tumor on his or her face. The story is fake.

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Facebook users are inadvertently spreading a hoax on the social network, encouraging each other to share a fake story. This one claims a baby has cancer and needs your help. It goes on to say the social networking giant will donate three cents every time a user reposts or shares the message, which comes accompanied with an image of a baby with what appears to be a tumor on its face. While these people likely have good intentions, the truth is that this story is baseless.

The plea comes in accompanies with one of these two headlines "This baby has cancer. For every share, FB donates 3 cents to help him" or "this child's got a cancer. facebook is ready to pay 3 cent for every share." The description, which tries to gain the user's trust by saying the validity of the story is unknown, is as follows:

this child's got a cancer. facebook is ready to pay 3 cent for every share. we don't know is it true or not, but let's everybody share. maybe it's true and then... >SHARE< for this baby PLEASE SHARE, THANKS!

This hoax is spreading like wildfire on Facebook, despite there being any actual information. You should notice the message does not include a link to an official Facebook blog announcing the initiative, details on where in the world the baby might be, how much money needs to be supposedly raise, nor links to news stories that corroborate the claims. In other words, this hoax is designed to spread for many years after its first appearance.

In fact, Hoax-Slayer notes this image has been in circulation in various contexts for several years, though its origin is not known. The supposed cancer on the baby's face could be hemangioma (strawberry birthmark) rather than a cancerous tumour.

Remember: Facebook, or any other company for that matter, will never donate money based on the number of times something is e-mailed, Facebooked, reposted, shared, tweeted, and so on. In this case, Facebook is not donating money for this baby because the story is a fake. If it was real, and Facebook was donating money, it would likely do so in one lump sum.

As a general word of caution, don't believe everything you read on the Internet. Also, don't blindly copy and paste warnings just because your Facebook friend's status tells you to do so. Although you probably mean well, you could be helping a hoax become more popular on the social network.

See also:

Topic: Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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7 comments
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  • RE: Facebook hoax: this child's got a cancer.

    The bad grammar should be the first clue...
    PB_z
  • RE: Facebook hoax: this child's got a cancer.

    So glad I deleted my account long ago. Enough was enough.
    tora201
  • RE: Facebook hoax: this child's got a cancer.

    There was a similar story spreading with a kid in a hospital bed. Share with friend and FB will donate. Probably by the same losers. Guess kids will be kids. FB has it's uses from a business prospective, otherwise, it's a big, narcissistic , public journal.
    Anti Fanboy
  • RE: Facebook hoax: this child's got a cancer.

    I won't argue there will be no support from FB, that's pretty obvious. But how do you know it's hemangioma? Where is your information and links to support this story being a fake?
    SeekerofTruths
    • RE: Facebook hoax: this child's got a cancer.

      @SeekerofTruths http://www.hoax-slayer.com/child-three-cents-per-share-cancer.shtml
      clarkinstein
  • FaceBook baby cancer is just a sick thing

    Just look at this one and to think anyone could do such a thing to a baby whether photoshopped or real, they need to be buried in a baby's grave in bits and pieces https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=337676546266216&set=p.337676546266216&type=1&ref=nf
    andjoh
    • RE: Facebook hoax: this child's got a cancer.

      @andjoh FYI, that page on Facebook you linked to has been deleted at the child's family's request. It is a real baby who had a non-cancerous hemangioma tumor removed from his face years ago and is now 7yrs old.

      He was born in vietnam with this tumor on his face and given to an orphanage. My pastor's wife had a dream about adopting him and now he's healthy and well here in America.

      Here's an article with more detail: http://www.hoax-slayer.com/child-three-cents-per-share-cancer.shtml
      clarkinstein