Deadline tomorrow or blast from the past? Facebook hoax gets an Instagram revamp

A well-worn Facebook hoax is getting popular again on Instagram

And this time, it’s not just your well-meaning aunt sharing it.

If you’ve been scrolling through Instagram over the past few days, you must have come across someone you follow posting this puzzling statement on their feed:

A pretty sizeable number of celebs has also taken part in sharing the viral post, including Eva Longoria, Laverne Cox and Julia Roberts… all the way to Beyonce’s mum.

This copypasta has it all: questionable grammar, badly copy-pasted “Instagram” over the original text and even the salvific way out in the form of asking for a repost. It’s pretty surprising that there are still people falling for it.

A brief history of the hoax

So, is August 21st the day that Instagram will start sharing all of your pictures, DMs and information to undisclosed third parties?

Not really, but the overused copy-pasta sure makes for a fun meme.

A first version of the post surfaced on Facebook all the way back in 2012, and it ended up being so popular Facebook itself had to issue a statement.

It then reared its ugly head again in July 2016, prompting a wave of calls over to different Channel 13 stations, conveniently for the hoax, a quite popular name for local TV stations in the United States.

So, why are we seeing it again on Instagram and Facebook in 2019?

If you’ve been on Netflix lately, you might have come across the exclusive documentary The Great Hack.

The documentary touches on the value Facebook data in the modern world, following the story of Cambridge Analytica and its troubling involvement with the 2016 U.S. elections and the Leave campaign in the UK.

Love it or hate it, everyone on Twitter has been talking about it.

When social media data privacy becomes such a hot topic online and offline, it is only natural for paranoia to set in.

So, this might be a sign of a new era where all users (including celebs) decide to take control of their online content. What’s the harm of taking a closer look at Zuckerberg’s privacy policies?

Or it could just be another example of fake news spreading far and wide on the Internet despite continuous debunking.

It’s up to you to decide.


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