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Issue 118 - September 2011 - Page 9

Request to Change Facebook Status to Support Injured Biker George

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Outline
Widely circulated Facebook message asks users to copy and share a status message as a show of support for injured motorcyclist "George".



Brief Analysis
Reposting this status message is utterly pointless. Why? Because there is no credible information about who "George" actually is, where he is located, whether or not he has now recovered from his injuries, or, for that matter if the accident even took place to begin with.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



Last updated:16th August 2011
First published: 16th August 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
BIKER DOWN!! MAY I ASK MY FACE BOOK FRIENDS, WHEREVER YOU MAY BE, TO KINDLY COPY, PASTE & SHARE THIS STATUS FOR 1 HOUR TO SUPPORT OUR FRIEND GEORGE WHO WAS IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT, LET HIM KNOW THAT PRAYERS ARE SENT HIS WAY. Do it for all of us, unfortunately no one is immune. I hope to see this on the wall of all my friends! JUST FOR MORAL SUPPORT!!! I KNOW SOME WILL...THANK YOU!!!

George Biker Down Prayer Request




Detailed Analysis
This "prayer request" message is currently rocketing around Facebook. It requests that Facebook users copy and repost the message for one hour as a means of showing support for downed biker "George". According to the message, George was in a motorcycle accident and, by reposting, we can let him know that prayers are being sent his way.

However, the message is so vague that it is virtually meaningless and reposting it is utterly pointless. The problem is that none of the many thousands of people around the world who are reposting the status message as requested appear to know who "George" actually is. At this point there is no credible information about who George is, where or exactly when the accident occurred, or how well he is recovering from his injuries. In fact, given the dearth of detail in the message, there is no way of ascertaining if the accident even occurred in the first place. As with many other messages that travel via social media, some prankster could have simply made up the story.

Because the only clue to work on in the message is the first name "George", digging up any detail is difficult to say the least. On any given day, there are likely to be a great many motorcycle accidents in various locations around the world. Statistically, it seems quite likely that at any given time at least one biker named George is likely to be recovering from a bike related injury somewhere in the world. How on Earth are we to know which "George" is the favoured target for Facebook support messages? And, even if the accident did occur as described, it may well be that George has now recovered from his injuries and is no longer in need of our support. And, for that matter, how can a status message posted by some total stranger half a world away possibly help George in any way shape or form? If George actually exists he is very unlikely to ever view all of the thousands of status messages posted to support him much less know which Facebook users posted them.

And, at the risk of sounding callous, who's to say that George is more deserving of social media driven "support" than the many thousands of other people who injure themselves every single day? What about hapless Fred who injured himself badly in an unfortunate weekend toilet brush incident? Or perhaps, poor brave Charlotte who shot herself with a nail gun while wrestling the deadly device from several dozen babies intent on inflicting nail gun injuries on themselves? Of course, Fred and Charlotte are made up characters, but you could repost a "support" plea on Facebook for them based on precisely the same amount of evidence presented in the "George" message.

Facebook is a great way of showing your support for a friend or family member who is sick or injured. But reposting vague support requests for people that you have never met, have no connection with, and know nothing whatsoever about is pointless and, frankly, a little silly.

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References
Baby Shot With Brad Nailer Prayer Request



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Issue 118 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Protest Message - First Responders Not Invited to 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Ceremony
  2. Amazon Account Review Phishing Scam
  3. 'May God Bless This Kind Person' Spyware Hacker Warning Hoax
  4. Diego Mendez Prayer Request
  5. 'Numerous Spams Activities from a Foreign IP' Webmail Phishing Scam
  6. Hoax - Professional Hacker 'Faceb Hu' Taking Control Of Computers Via Friend Requests
  7. ACH Payment Canceled Malware Email
  8. Fake Child Abduction Alert - Three Year Old Missing from Wollongong
  9. Request to Change Facebook Status to Support Injured Biker George
  10. Bogus Health Warning - Scratch Card 'Silver Nitro Oxide' Coating Causes Skin Cancer
  11. Bogus 'Free Items for Participating' Facebook Events
  12. Overblown and Outdated Warning - Facebook Instant Personalization
  13. Drano Bottle Bomb Warning Message
  14. Hotel "Wrong Transaction" Malware Emails
  15. Invitation FB Olympic Torch Virus Hoax
  16. Warning - ALDI External 4-in-1 Hard Drive Contains Built In Malware
  17. DEW Bottled Water Fatal Poisoning Hoax
  18. Unfounded Rumour - Facebook Friend Request Warning - People Trying to Access Photos of Children
  19. Massive Mound of Writhing Rattle Snakes
  20. eBay 'Trusted Selling with Identity Confirmation' Phishing Scam