Stand up for the facts!
Misinformation isn't going away just because it's a new year. Support trusted, factual information with a tax deductible contribution to PolitiFact.
I would like to contribute
If Your Time is short
- “LOL” commonly means “laughing out loud.”
- A co-founder of the Satanic Temple says this is a hoax.
Texting "LOL" may not mean what you think it means, according to an old claim that’s again spreading on social media.
"BEWARE," begins a Facebook post being shared on social media. "Stop using abbreviation ‘LOL.’ ‘LOL’ stands for ‘Lucifer our Lord.’ Satanists end their prayers by saying ‘Lucifer our Lord,’ in short, ‘LOL.’ Every time you type ‘LOL’ you are endorsing Satan. Do not use ‘LOL’ ever again!"
This 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.)
We reached out to the Satanic Temple, which co-founder Malcom Jarry told PolitiFact is "the largest active satanic religious organization with over 400,000 registered members worldwide."
"While we hold religious service, we do not engage in prayer because we are non-theistic," Jarry said in an email. "Many other satanic organizations are also non-theistic. A common valediction is ‘Hail Satan,’ which is expressed as an act of solidarity and/or defiance and is not intended as a veneration for a mythical figure."
Members of the Satanic Temple don’t worship Satan or believe in the existence of Satan, according to its website.
"No one in our organization that we know of uses the expression ‘Lucifer our Lord’ or the abbreviation ‘LOL’ (other than to mean ‘laughing out loud’)," Jarry said. He said he also doesn’t know of other satanic groups that use that expression or abbreviation the way the Facebook post claims.
"I feel confident in asserting that this is a hoax," Jarry said.
NBC News also debunked the "Lucifer our Lord" claim in 2012 when it circulated on the social media platform Reddit.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "LOL" was "originally and chiefly" used in "the language of electronic communications" to express amusement, or to draw attention to a joke.
We found no credible sources for the claim that "LOL" is used by satanists to mean "Lucifer our Lord."
We rate this post False.
Facebook post, June 26, 2021
The Satanic Temple, Frequently asked questions, visited July 6, 2021
Oxford English Dictionary, LOL, visited July 6, 2021
NBC News, Does ‘LOL’ really mean ‘Lucifer our Lord,’? Nov. 26, 2012
BBC News, Why did LOL infiltrate language?, April 8, 2011
Email interview with Malcolm Jarry, co-founder, The Satanic Temple, July 6, 2021
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.