What The Tech?: Facebook Hoax
CHARLOTTE – Every few weeks I see another friend posting a hoax to their Facebook news feed. Most of the time it’s the same hoax that’s been spreading for the past 10 years or so. You’ve probably seen it too. Maybe you’ve even shared it.
The post is always the same. “Yessssss. It works. OMG. Update” followed by the same paragraph that claims to get rid of ads in the newsfeed and see posts from all of your Facebook friends. Does it actually work? Your friends say it does. The short answer is no. It absolutely does not work. It’s a hoax at best, and a scam at worst. Nothing you do on Facebook is going to remove ads from the newsfeed. That’s how Facebook earns revenue. The ads will keep on coming whether you like it or not.
As far as regaining friends in your newsfeed, that won’t happen by copying and pasting someone else’s post. It just doesn’t work that way. It’s pretty silly to even think it will.
You can change your Facebook settings to see all of your friends’ posts in chronological order.
To see all of your friends as they post, go to Facebook’s menu and tap “feeds”. Then tap “Friends” to see the most recent posts. You’ll need to do this regularly because Facebook will return it seeing posts you might be interested in. How does Facebook figure out what posts you’re most interested in? According to its help section, Facebook prioritizes posts from friends and groups you’ve interacted with recently.
Maybe you left a comment on someone’s post, or reacted with a “like” or “love”. Maybe you’ve even spent time with them in real life. Facebook uses those interactions to prioritize posts from those friends and groups. Another way to see posts from your favorite Facebook friends is by adding them as “Favorites”.
Back in the menu and “feeds”, tap “Favorites” and add and remove friends. Those favorites will show up higher in your feed. You can only add 30 friends to your favorites. That’s the source of another viral post claiming Facebook is only going to show you 26 friends no matter what you do. That’s false as well. The “Yessssss” post is an annoying hoax at best. At worst, it can be used by scammers. Here’s how: Scammers can, and do search Facebook for specific keywords. In this example, they can search all of Facebook for the word “yesssss” with six s’s. They’ll see who re-posted the hoax.
Then, they can leave comments promoting their interests. On one of these posts, I saw a series of comments that includes advertisements of sorts. The comments will often tag someone on Instagram, claiming they can help people get their accounts back. Those are scams too and you’ll find those comments and links shared on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube videos, and anything else the scammer may find by searching for the keywords.
I posted a YouTube video several years ago about how scammers claim to hijack accounts and not a day goes by when there isn’t another comment recommending an Instagrammer who can “get your account back.”
Scammers can also use these posts by searching the keywords and targeting the people who share them. They figure those Facebook users are gullible and could fall for other scams and clone their profiles. Watch out for these hoaxes. They’re not true.
Remember, young people believe everything they see on TikTok. Grown-ups believe everything they see on Facebook.