Here’s a story you’ve probably heard before: A viral hoax is spreading on Facebook, that, when you stop and think about it, really doesn’t make any damn sense.
Monday’s hoax involves a supposed hacker named Jayden K. Smith.
As far as the hoax goes, users are warned about an incoming friend request from a user named “Jayden K. Smith,” who is reportedly a hacker. Then the user is encouraged to share the warning with all of their friends to protect one’s Facebook network from Jayden.
The warning looks a little something like this:
Please tell all the contacts in your Messenger list, not to accept Jayden K Smith friendship request. He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it. Thanks. Forwarded as received.
The thing is: the message itself is the hoax. Which we should have all realized if we just stopped and thought about it for a second.
First, “the system connected to your Facebook account.” Lol. Gonna need more info there.
Second, it’s silly to think you’ll be hacked if any of your Facebook friends becomes friends with Jayden. Becoming friends with someone on Facebook doesn’t somehow provide a person access to, say, your email password.
This viral message isn’t smart, but it seems to be designed to take advantage of a critical nexus of (the lack of) hacking knowledge: Many people don’t know how hacking works and many people are also understandably afraid of being hacked.
Hey, at least we get the memes, I guess.
Trump announces new head of World Cyber Security Task Force: Jayden K. Smith.
— Sue O’Connell (@SueNBCBoston) July 10, 2017
I don’t know who “Jayden K Smith” is on Facebook but he’s sent every middle-aged friend I have into social overdrive
— Seán Maher (@irishkangaroo) July 10, 2017
We reached out to Facebook for comment, and we’ll update if we hear back.