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The rumor claims that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg not only "invented" the abbreviation BFF (for Best Friends Forever), but that typing the letters in a comment would let users know whether their accounts were secure or not.
The post reads:
"Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, invented the word BFF. To make sure your account is safe on Facebook, type BFF in a comment. If it appears green, your account is protected. If it does not appear green, change your password immediately because it will be hacked."
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
Yeah, no. There is no relationship between one's account security and what happens when one types in the word, "BFF." Mark Zuckerberg also did not invent the abbreviation, it was around long before Facebook. (Cue your middle school BFF necklaces.)
The hoax originated in response to the animated feature that Facebook introduced in 2017. A list of words and abbreviations, such as "xoxo," "congratulations," and "BFF," that when included in a status update or comment trigger animations such as color changes, balloons or hearts.
We reached out to Facebook for a response to the claim but did not hear back before publication.
The rumor appeared to pop up in the spring of 2018 – right around the time Zuckerberg appeared in Congressional hearings to answer questions on Facebook’s data privacy practices after more than 50 million users’ private information was shared without their permission.
We rate it Pants on Fire!
Facebook post, June 10, 2019
Mashable, Facebook just added a bunch of hidden Easter eggs you can unlock by typing special words, Oct. 23, 2017
Vox Recode, Live updates from Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to Congress Tuesday, April 10, 2018
New York Times, How Trump Consultants Exploited the Facebook Data of Millions, March 17, 2018
Cambridge News, What you need to know about the Facebook BFF hoax and how to keep your account safe, April 12, 2018
Buzzfeed, This Hoax About Mark Zuckerberg Shows The Shortcomings Of Facebook's New Algorithm, April 11, 2018
Venture Beat, ProBeat: My Facebook News Feed has been hijacked by Zuckerberg BFF spam, April 13, 2018
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