Our View: Bill Gates is not giving you $5,000

DKS Editors

Summary: When does sharing a fake Facebook photo for money cross the line from gullible-ness to stupidity?

What does it take to get $5,000? Hard work? Luck? Sharing a Facebook photo?

It’s an old hoax, but it seems like no matter how many times we see it (or how many times it turns out false), someone is always going to believe that somebody wants to give them money for sharing a photo or email to all of their friends.

A recent hoax we’ve noticed comes in the form of a photo of Bill Gates. In the photo, Gates is holding up a piece of paper that reads, “Hey Facebook, As some of you may know, I’m Bill Gates. If you click that share link, I will give you $5,000. I always deliver, I mean, I brought you Windows XP, right?”

Despite the fact that the message on the paper was clearly added in by a photo editing software (we’re betting on MS Paint), and that the tiniest bit of research would reveal that the original photo is from Bill Gates’ Ask Me Anything on Reddit last week; however, people still believe that the photo is real.

It’s annoying and embarrassing to see your Facebook friends fall for something so obviously fake. So before you hit that share button, take the time to think it through. If you want to save your friends the annoyance and yourself the embarrassment, check out snopes.com to see if the photo is legitimate. (Chances are, it’s not.)

So why do people keep believing these photos? Is it because we’re too scared to miss out on the opportunity? Are we really just that hopeful that this could be the one photo that turns out to be real? We’re not sure, but it seems that the Facebook community will believe anything.

One thing we are sure of: no one is ever going to arbitrarily offer you $5,000 over Facebook. Not even Bill Gates.