In light of the recent breach of data by Facebook, several people have asked me if I am still on Facebook or if I have changed my stance on social media and its importance and relevance in the classroom and for empowering digital leadership. After all, my book Social LEADia is about inspiring people to think differently about social media in school.
My short-response? Nope.
There is an even greater need than ever before to bring social media into the classroom through our media strand and an even greater need to empower our students to not only understand how social media works but how to be the change.
And so, I began this blogpost this morning to talk about my thoughts on targeted ads and privacy in light of Zuckerberg’s testimony and the recent scandal, but that will have to wait until another day, because in the meantime, I received the following message from a friend on Facebook Messenger:
Hi, I’m Mark Zuckerberg The Director of facebook.
Hello everyone, it seems that all the warnings were real, facebook use will cost money
If you send this string to 18 different from your list, your icon will be blue and it will be free for you.
If you do not believe me tomorrow at 6 pm that facebook will be closed and to open it you will have to pay, this is all by law.
This message is to inform all our users, that our servers have recently been very congested, so we are asking for your help to solve this problem. We require that our active users forward this message to each of the people in your contact list in order to confirm our active facebook users if you do not send this message to all your facebook contacts then your account will remain inactive with the consequence of Lose all your cont the transmission of this message. Your SmartPhone will be updated within the next 24 hours, will have a new design and a new color for the chat. Dear Facebook users, we are going to do an update for facebook from 23:00 p.m. until 05:00 a.m. on this day. If you do not send this to all your contacts the update will be canceled and you will not have the possibility to chat with your facebook messages
Will go to pay rate unless you are a frequent user. If you have at least 10 contacts
Send this sms and the logo will turn red to indicate that you are a user
Confirmed … We finish it for free Tomorrow they start to collect the messages for facebook at 0.37 cents Forward this message to more than 9 people of your contacts and it will be free of life for you to watch and it will turn green the ball of above do it and you will see.to 9 of you
and this video:
Both are clearly fake. How do I know?
- riddled with grammatical errors
- urgency to have you forward the information is typical of a phishing scam
- Mark Zuckerberg’s official Facebook has no such message
- the date it is posted in April 1st (April Fool’s day)
- a close look at Z’s face suggests doctoring and the voice is robotic
- there are actually very few close-ups of Mark talking
- the content does not align with Zuckerberg’s testimony or his public statements about the company
The video’s purpose is very different than the message itself and I would argue that life without Facebook would be similar to life with it and that many other platforms can be places to foster connections, learning, sharing, and promoting positivity. It can also destroy relationships and spread hate. It’s not the tool but the user of the tool that makes a difference.
What I am wondering…
What is my own and collective responsibility to create healthy and positive online environments?
How can I model positivity and digital leadership with my own accounts? How many people forwarded this message vs ignored it vs reported it?
What role do educators, leaders, and parents have in empowering our students to understand how to detect fake messages?
What might kids do to lead change if we have these conversations with them and educate them about the way media works?
How do Districts support teachers via professional learning around social media: the risks, as well as the affordances and opportunities?
If you do get that message forwarded to you, don’t just ignore it. Add this blog link or a quick message and report the message to Facebook.
Would love to hear your thoughts.