A viral post on Facebook saying that users’ accounts will be locked if they are “caught spreading religious beliefs in any form” after March 20, 2014, is a hoax.
The post, which claims to be from CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is one of many fake posts going around on Facebook, which claim accounts will be banned if they’re caught “swearing” or making references to marijuana.
“As of March 20/2014, we at Facebook will be launching a “No Religion” Campaign. Anyone caught spreading religious beliefs in any form will have their account locked, and further pending investigations may be held,” the fake post reads.
Note that the date punctuation is incorrect–a hallmark for viral hoaxes. The statement is also oddly worded, which is an indicator that the message wasn’t written by a professional corporation.
It continues: “This is due to the new laws issued by our legal department (section 182 P34b) as new advertisers and groups have petitioned for a ‘more logical’ and ‘adult’ social network. If a user (you) continues to spread any form of religious propaganda will be shut down and a permanent ban will be placed into effect, immediately.”
Facebook never made any announcement about “no religion” and when it makes a policy change, it issues a press release on its website or blog. Here is an example of how Facebook makes announcements.