An article saying a so-called “Facebook drug task force” will monitor all messages starting October 1, 2014 is a hoax.
The article was published on the National Report, which describes itself as satirical in nature.
“Beginning October 1st, Facebook will be implementing a drug task force designed to arrest those who buy and sell narcotics while using the online social networking site. Facebook is calling the group the Facebook Drug Task Force, or FDTF, and will be monitoring all postings and messages created by its users,” it says.
The bogus report also includes fake quotes from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
The article was being shared en masse on Facebook and Twitter, with more than 150,000 shares as of Tuesday. And a number of people apparently believed it.
According to a now-removed disclaimer, the National Report doesn’t post real news stories.
“DISCLAIMER: National Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within National Report are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental . The views expressed by writers on this site are theirs alone and are not reflective of the fine journalistic and editorial integrity of National Report,” it used to read. It was saved by another website.
A recent (real) article from the National Report described what the website is trying to do.
“Satire is not required to be humorous, nor was this particular post meant to be funny,” it says. “If you are suggesting that every site that publishes fictional news have a pop-up that requires you to acknowledge the fact that what you are about to read may or may not be true, then you will need to look elsewhere for that as well. As a reminder, the most famous piece of satire in the English language, A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift, chose the killing and eating of children to highlight social injustice precisely because it was deplorable.”