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Alex Ruhl/Shutterstock (Licensed)
Those viral messages are bogus.
Between fake news, Russian hacks, and data breaches, Facebook has certainly had its fair share of problems in the past couple of years. But despite viral messages claiming otherwise, Facebook profiles are not being “cloned.”
According to the Albany Times-Union, the cloning rumor is being spread through Facebook Messenger.
”Hi….I actually got another friend request from you yesterday…which I ignored so you may want to check your account. Hold your finger on the message until the forward button appears…then hit forward and all the people you want to forward too … I had to do the people individually. Good Luck,” reads a common message spreading across Facebook.
People apparently spread the baseless message due to residual concern from previous hacking scandals, said the Plaquemines Parish (Louisiana) Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in a Facebook post.
“Your account isn’t sending duplicate friend requests. And you didn’t receive a request from the person you’re forwarding it to,” the message reads. “You’re simply doing it because the message tells you to. DON’T. Otherwise, you become one of the reasons why the hoax is spreading so fast.”
Of course, fake accounts happen; a scammer can take your personal information and set up an account that looks like yours to gather personal data about you or spread viruses. But that’s not what’s happening here, according to Facebook—there’s apparently been no uptick in fake accounts since the messages started making the rounds.
Of course, there have been multiple real Facebook scandals recently; from reports of logins being sold on the dark web to the massive data breach at the end of September, it’s been a rocky month for the social media company.
Facebook did not respond to request for comment by press time, but it has said that the posts could be going viral due to fear.
H/T Sacramento Bee
Ellen Ioanes is the FOIA reporter at the Daily Dot, where she covers U.S. politics. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Center for Public Integrity, HuffPost India, and more.