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.