“Dance of the Hillary Virus” Warnings Spread on Social Media-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Warnings that a “Dance of the Hillary” virus circulating social media will “format your mobile phone” have gone viral.
We haven’t been able to find any credible reports of a “Dance of the Hillary” virus, and the rumor closely resembles a false warning about a “Dance of the Pope” virus that went viral in 2015.
The warning, which was widely circulated on Facebook in early October, claims that the BCC has reported that watching the Dance of the Hillary video would “format” your mobile device:
Please inform all contacts from your list not to open a video called the “Dance of the Hillary”. It is a virus that formats your mobile. Beware it is very dangerous. They announced it today on BBC radio. Fwd this msg to as many as you can!
Again, we haven’t found any credible reports of a video called Dance of the Hillary, or a virus related to it circulating. The warning is very similar to one that we investigated in April 2015 about a “Dance of the Pope” video” that we found to be “fiction”:
“URGENT: Tell all contacts from your list not to accept a video called the dance of the Pope. It is a virus that formats your mobile. Beware it is very dangerous. They announced it today on the radio. Pass on to as many as you can. It was announced on the radio in USA.”
It’s not clear where these fake virus warnings originated. Phrases used in the warnings like “Dance of the Hillary” and “formats your mobile” suggest that the rumor originated overseas since that’s not the way Americans talk. And it’s not exactly clear what, exactly, “formats your mobile” is supposed to mean since we couldn’t find any examples of that being used in the IT security sector.
Given all that, we’re calling the Dance of the Hillary virus warning “fiction.”