Message circulating on Facebook claims that, as an anti-spam measure, users will be required to enter their social security numbers when they login to the network from April 2012.
The claims in the message are false. Facebook will not require users to login with their social security numbers. The claims originate from an article published on a satirical humour website. The article is intended as satire and was never meant to be taken in any way seriously.
Today, Facebook announced a new procedure to address the recent wave of spam that has plagued the website. Starting April 2nd, users will be required to enter their social security numbers to log in to their Facebook accounts.
According to a message that is currently circulating rapidly on Facebook, users will be required to enter their social security numbers when logging in to the network from April 2nd, 2012.
Supposedly, Facebook is introducing the new procedure as a way of combating the spam attacks on the network. The claims have caused angst and consternation among many Facebook users concerned about their privacy and security.
Not surprisingly, however, there is not one iota of truth in the message’s claims. Facebook is not set to introduce any procedure by which users are required to log in using their social security numbers. In fact, the message is derived from – and links to – an article published on the satirical “news” website Free Wood Post. None of the articles published on the site are intended to be taken seriously. Articles on the site are simply made up and the site asks would-be contributors to Remember, our tagline is “News That’s Almost Reliable”… a purely satirical and humorous “news” website.
Within the context of the site itself, the satirical and humorous nature of the articles is quite obvious. But, as in this case, when snippets of the articles escape their original context and began circulating, at least a few readers are inclined to believe them. Ironically, the message actually includes a link back to the original article in context and complete with the telling “News That’s Almost Reliable” tagline. But, apparently, some recipients are not following the link to get the full story – or at least are missing the satirical “almost news” nature of the site if they do so – and are therefore accepting the information as actual news.
Thus, users need not be concerned about the supposed impending procedure as is it not going to happen. And of course, since many countries do not use a social security number system like the one used in the United States, such a login procedure would simply not work for many millions of Facebook’s worldwide users.