Plus, did you know gullible’s been removed from the dictionary?
Go ahead and warn your grandmothers now: there’s a great new viral Facebook hoax making the rounds. This one only serves to instantly let you know which of your friends and relatives doesn’t know how social media and cybercrime work. The “don’t accept a friend request from Jayden K Smith” message is circulating online and it’s doing a stellar job of pointing out how naive people can be.
Snopes has collected countless variations over the years, including multiple names and even threats of installing a virus rather than being hacked. The wording of the “copy this message and share it with all your friends” hoax explains that accepting a friend request from the named individual will result in him taking over your computer and stealing all of your information. Even clicking the accept button will cause irrevocable hacker harm.
…with a twist
It’s important to note the wording of one version of the hoax: “Please tell all the contacts in your messenger list not to accept Jayden K. Smith friendship request. He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it.” Yes, the indicator is tucked in there that instructs the recipient to spread the word to all of their friends. Facebook users have been rampantly sharing the news on their walls and via Messenger, trying to get the word out and presumably protect the public.
Just for fun?
Obviously, this isn’t how any of this works, but that doesn’t stop people from falling for it. Unlike actual scams and fraud attempts, experts have speculated about the origins of online hoaxes involving nothing more than viral attempts at manipulating others’ behavior. While some do turn out to be criminal in nature and extort money from gullible users – like ones that crop up following landmark tragedies or natural disasters, for example – this one seems to be nothing more than a pointless joke aimed at seeing how many people will fall for it.