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Hoax - Facebook Will Pay Three Cents Per Share to Help Baby With Facial Cancer

Outline
Message circulating on Facebook that includes a photograph of a baby with what appears to be a large growth on his or her face, claims that Facebook will pay three cents to help the child for every time the picture is shared.



Brief Analysis
The message is a hoax. Facebook will not pay three cents per share to help the child. The growth on the child's face is a hemangioma (strawberry birthmark) rather than a cancer. The same photograph has circulated in other contexts for several years. The child in the photograph is a boy named Samuel who was adopted from a Vietnamese orphanage in 2005 by the Ettore family. Samuel is now 7 years old and has had the hemangioma removed.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

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Last updated: 10th January 2011
First published: 10th January 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
Research by David White, Steve Williamson, Brett Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
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!

Share to help child with cancer hoax

Editor's Note: Child's image has been obscured to protect his or her identity




Detailed Analysis
This message, which features a photograph of a baby with what appears to be a large red tumour on his face, is currently circulating very rapidly on Facebook. The message claims that Facebook is ready to pay 3 cents to help the child every time the picture is shared on the network.

However, the message is an absurd hoax and should not be reposted. Facebook will certainly not pay three cents to support the child whenever a user shares the image. And, the supposed cancer on the baby's face is a hemangioma (strawberry birthmark) rather than a cancerous tumour. Moreover, the same photograph has appeared in various other website articles since at least 2007.

In fact, the baby in the photograph is a boy named Samuel who was adopted from a Vietnamese orphanage in 2005 Samuel is now 7 years old and has had the giant cavernous hemagioma removed. Samuel's adopted mother, Hope Cantu Ettore noted in a conversation with Steve Williamson, "He has had 4 facial reconstructions and also an eye surgery as he was blind in that one eye." She also notes that the staining that can be seen on Samuel's hands and neck in the photograph is the result of a medical treatment. A more recent photograph of young Samuel can be seen on Hope Cantu Ettore's Facebook page.

Thus it seems that some moronic prankster has simply taken the image of the child from another source - without the permission or knowledge of the child's family - and tacked on the ridiculous claim that Facebook will donate money based on how many times the image is shared. Facebook - or any other organization - is never likely to participate in such an absurd fund raising scheme.

In fact, this is just one more in a long line of money for forwarding or reposting hoaxes that have circulated for years, first via email and more lately via social media posts. Any message that claims that money will be donated to help a sick or injured child in exchange for forwarding or reposting something is certain to be a hoax.

Ironically, the hoax message itself questions the authenticity of the claim - "we don't know is it true or not" - but nevertheless suggests that people repost without taking the time to actually find out.

The callous pranksters who create such drivel use images of children without the permission or knowledge of their parents or guardians. Thus, it can be very distressing for parents or other family members to discover that their child's pictures have been used in a hoax message.

If you receive this absurd hoax message or another like it, please do not repost. And please take a moment to let the poster know that the message is a hoax.

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References
Hemangioma
Alarab.net
Charity Hoaxes
Free Heart Surgery for Children - Facebook Share

Last updated: 10th January 2011
First published: 10th January 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
Research by David White, Steve Williamson, Brett Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer