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Issue 133 - June 2012 (2nd Edition) - Page 14

Satanist Friend Request Facebook Warning

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Outline
Message circulating on Facebook warns users not to accept friend requests from people on an included list because they are Satanists.



Brief Analysis
Reposting this message may unfairly damage the reputations of innocent people. Many of the names on the list are shared by several Facebook users. Moreover, while some of those included on the original list do have anti-religious information on their Facebook profiles, there is no credible evidence that indicates that all of the people on the list are Satanists. Sending on such nonsense is pointless and irresponsible.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

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Last updated: 4th June 2012
First published: 4th June 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
WARNING:
DO NOT ACCEPT FRIEND REQUEST FROM
THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE,THEY ARE
SATANIST IF YOU WANTTO PROVE
SEARCH THEM AND READ THEIR PROFILES..

(List of names removed)



Detailed Analysis
While some of those included on the original list do have anti-religious information on their Facebook profiles, they have a perfect right to do so and there is no compelling evidence that indicates that all of the people on the list are actually Satanists. Moreover, and more importantly, many of the names on the list are shared by several Facebook users. Other names on the lists elicit no relevant search results on Facebook at all. And, such lists tend to mutate as they circulate as malicious pranksters tack on the names of innocent people.

Thus, sending on such breathless nonsense will help nobody and is likely to do nothing other than unfairly tarnish the reputations of innocent users. Even if a person named on the list is really a Satanist, there is likely to be several other people on Facebook who just happen to share the same name and have no connection to Satanism at all.

In any case, the religious beliefs - or lack thereof - of the listed users are entirely their own business. The unspoken implication in the message is that these terrible "Satanists" are engaged in some deliberate campaign to amass Facebook friends to further their own evil agendas. But there is no evidence at all to suggest that this is the case. And, even if it were true, the simple act of accepting a friend request does not give the person any control over you or your account (Or your soul, for that matter).

Of course, unless you have some prior connection to a person, there is normally no good reason to accept an unsolicited friend request. Moreover, if you do accept someone as a friend and then find the information they post is offensive to you, you can just as easily unfreind them.

The message is strongly reminiscent of a whole series of nonsensical Facebook warnings that claim that particular users are hackers that can take control of your computer as soon as you accept their friend request.

Reposting or sharing such potentially libellous material - material that can unfairly damage the reputations of innocent individuals - on a public forum such as Facebook is plainly irresponsible as well as utterly pointless.

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References
Friendship Inquiries Hacker Alert Hoax

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Issue 133 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Facebook Will Donate for 'Likes' Hoax - Isabella Abused Wife Message
  2. The Croc Whisperer
  3. Irish Friendship Wish Chain Letter
  4. Can Birds Die From Eating Discarded Gum?
  5. Qian Hongyan AOL Money For Forwarding Hoax
  6. Foursquare 'Friend Request Approved' Pharmacy Spam
  7. Hitman Payoff Scam Email
  8. LinkedIn User Passwords Stolen - Change Your LinkedIn Password Immediately
  9. Hoax: Facebook to Start Charging This Summer - Facebook Icon Will Turn Blue ( Or Gold)
  10. Useless Warning - Facebook Will Start Using Your Photos in Ads on Friday
  11. Completely Pointless and Misleading 'Facebook Privacy Notice'
  12. Black Lion Facebook Hoax
  13. 'Switch to Pink Facebook' Survey Scam
  14. Satanist Friend Request Facebook Warning
  15. Nine Zero Hash Phone Scam Hoax
  16. Paypal 'You Sent a Payment' Malware Emails
  17. FedEx Incorrect Delivery Address Malware Email