BFF hoax: Don’t worry, your Facebook account is still safe

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There’s a new hoax doing the rounds of social media that urges users to change their password or face being hacked.

The hoax centres around the phrase ‘BFF’ (Best Friends Forever) an acronym which is widely used on the social network.

The hoax claims that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg invented the BFF acronym in order to test the safety of Facebook accounts.

The hoax then asks users to type ‘BFF’ as a comment on the post and if it appears in green their account is secure. If not, the post tells the user to change their password immediately as they “may be hacked”.

“Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, invented the word BFF,” the hoax post claims.

“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 in green, change your password immediately because it may be hacked by someone.”

As well as appearing in English, the post has also been shared in other languages, including Thai, with thousands of unsuspecting users sharing the warning.

According to Buzzfeed, one post was shared more than 75,000 times, with almost 90,000 people commenting.

In the post some ‘BFF’ comments appeared in green, while others were just in the regular black text.

However, despite news of Facebook data breaches and privacy threats hitting the news in recent weeks, there is no element of truth to the claims being made in this latest hoax.

Mark Zuckerberg didn’t invent ‘BFF’ and it is in no way related to the security on your account.

The reason that the term ‘BFF’ sometimes appears in green is that it is included in Facebook’s Text Delight feature, which sometimes changes the colours of certain words when posted in comments. Other words and phrases which also change colour include “best wishes” and “congratulations”.

Meanwhile, fact checking site Snopes has also concluded the BFF post is a hoax.

“Although it is true that Facebook comments including the word “BFF” in green are among known animations, its appearance (or lack thereof) is not related to account security in any way,” Snopes reported.

“A missing green “BFF” does not indicate anyone’s account was compromised at any point, and instead most likely relates to browser settings.”

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