“Dance of the Pope” Virus Affects Mobile Phones-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Social media posts warn that a video or gif called “dance of the pope” contains a virus that erases data from mobile phones.
There isn’t a “dance of the pope” virus infecting mobile phones.
The rumor started in early 2015 on the WhatsApp messaging app. By mid-April, it was spread to social media sites and was shared millions of times in a post that warned:
“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.”
There’s no record of a radio station warning listeners about the virus. There also haven’t been any first-hand accounts from people whose phones were infected with the virus.
The eRumor likely started overseas because “dance of the pope” isn’t how Americans speak. The post also says that the warning was “on the radio in USA,” which means whoever wrote it was in a different country.
Another version of the eRumor claims that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) had issued the warning about the “dance of the pope” video. That’s also not true, according to the company’s website.