Hover Over My Name: New Hoax Spin Added to Viral Facebook Status

UPDATE (September 6, 2012): Unbelievably — and yet, very believable — this hoax has made a comeback. It’s been a year since the first time I wrote about it. Now, it’s returned in a somewhat altered form:

To all my contacts, friends, I request you that with the recent changes in FB, now one can see things from people who are not in your contacts list. Just because a contact of yours makes a comment or “likes” in some activity of that person. I do not want people to contact me, and would like that they donot read and see all my comments and stuff. But I can not change this myself because facebook has configured it this way. But you can do it for me.

PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (do not click), a window will appear and move the mouse on “Friends” (also without clicking), then down to “Settings”, click here and a list will appear. Click “Comments and Like” and it would thereby remove the CHECK. By doing this my activity amongst my friends and my family does not become public. A Thousand Thanks! Paste this on your wall for your contacts, if you care about your privacy!!!

Nothing has changed here. Read below…

Hover over my name, Uncheck comments and Likes - FacebookJust when I think this one will die, it comes back even stronger…

Back on September 23 (yes, more than three months ago) [EDIT: NOW ONE YEAR!], I first wrote a post called Facebook Scare: Uncheck Comments and Likes about a viral Facebook status that was circulating. Long story short, it’s when friends ask you to hover over their name and uncheck comments and likes. They believed this would help your privacy or some other complete nonsense (see the blog post).

Today, I am again seeing spikes to that blog post. I ran a Facebook search of “hover over my name” and it is absolutely out of hand. When I run the search, there are 15 public posts over a six minute span. That’s public posts only.

Originally, this seemed to be simply a well-intentioned (though ill-informed) attempt to help friends and right a wrong. But as it’s evolved, it has taken on the flavor of a hoax. The new copy and paste is as follows:

With the new ‘FB timeline’ on its way this week for EVERYONE…please do both of us a favour: Hover over my name above. In a few seconds you’ll see a box that says “Subscribed.” Hover over that, then go to “Comments and Likes” and unclick it. That will stop my posts and yours to me from showing up on the side bar for everyone to see, but MOST IMPORTANTLY it LIMITS HACKERS from invading our profiles. If you re-post this I will do the same for you. You’ll know I’ve acknowledged you because if you tell me that you’ve done it I’ll ‘like’ it. Thanks!

A couple of the tell-tale signs of a hoax (as I outline in this post) are now evident:

  • Attempt to scare you with completely untrue statement about protecting you from hackers
  • Of course… Asking you to re-post

Let’s be clear about what happens when I hover over your name and uncheck comments and likes. I no longer see your comments and likes. Period.

What doesn’t it do? It does not stop my posts (comments and likes) from showing in your newsfeed, though this status promises that. I have no idea how they think it would limit hackers from invading your profile. It is completely individual. It only stops one person from seeing the comments and likes of one person. That’s it.

And this brings us back to the absurdity of the post. If you are worried about people you don’t care about seeing your comments and likes, who is going to respond to this and hide that content? Maybe a handful. And what kinds of friends will they be? Your closest friends. The ones who actually care about your comments and likes (and the ones you wouldn’t mind seeing them).

But maybe your closest friends are hackers. In that case, carry on. You did well.

Also Read:

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