According to this widely circulated message, WhatsApp will donate money to help a blind baby each time her picture is shared.
The message, which has been circulating in various forms since mid-2017, claims that the pictured baby was born blind and needs $200,000 for treatment to allow her to see.
However, the post is just a nasty hoax that users an image of a baby and a young woman stolen from another website. WhatsApp certainly will not donate money to this or any other child based on how many times a post is shared. Nor will any other company. Sharing the post will not help the baby in the picture in any way whatsoever.
In fact, the message is just one in a long line of similar “donations for sharing” charity hoaxes and scams. Any message that claims that a company will donate money to help a sick child based on how many times the message is shared is certain to be fraudulent.
No sane and legitimate company would ever agree to participate in such a ridiculous and ill-conceived fund-raising campaign. Even if a company did decide to engage in such a morally repugnant campaign, there would be no reliable or ethical way of recording the journey of a single message across multiple platforms and formats and thereby working out how much money needed to be donated.
For example, in this case, the message apparently began life on WhatsApp and then jumped platforms to Twitter, Facebook, other social networks, and even email. In the time since it was first posted, the message has been shared, retweeted, forwarded, copied and pasted, and substantially modified countless times. It is thus simply absurd to suggest that, somehow, WhatsApp could keep reliable track of the message’s progress and calculate the amount of its supposed donation to the child.
Do not be tricked into participating in these heartless hoaxes. Rest assured that sharing such messages will do nothing whatsoever to help the pictured children.
Often these hoaxes are created by contemptible individuals who use them as a means of promoting their social media channels or websites. These people steal images of sick or injured children from other sources for use in their fake charity posts. The continued circulation of such messages can cause great distress to the families of the pictured children.
If one of these fake messages comes your way, do not share it. And let the person who posted it know that the claims in the message are false.
An example of the fake charity post:
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!