Teens Swag Facebook Photo Donations Claims-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
A Facebook page called Teens Swag posted a photo of a little boy with a massive tumor and said that Facebook and CNN would donate money to him every time the photo was liked or shared.
This type of scam has become known as a “sick child hoax.”
In this type of hoax, a photo of a sick or injured child is posted on Facebook with a message that claims money will be donated to them with every like or share.
In this case, a photo of a little boy with a massive tumor on his neck, shoulder and torso was posted at the Teens Swag Facebook page with a message that said Facebook and CNN would donate $1 per like, $10 per comment and $20 per share.
References to Facebook and CNN donating money to the little boy were later removed from the post — but not before it had been shared more than 1.1 million times.
Sick child hoaxes falsely claim that liking or sharing a photo will help a child who is genuinely sick or injured, but that’s not the case. The children who are exploited by these scams do not benefit from them at all.
The little boy pictured in Teens Swag’s photo is a 9-year-old boy identified as “Jose.” Missionaries from the New Mexico Baptist church of Rio Rancho found him in Mexico in 2012 with a massive tumor, the Associated Press reports:
Si Budagher, pastor of First Baptist Church of Rio Rancho, N.M., said church members spotted the boy while doing missionary work and felt compelled to help him.
“He just came up to us and offered to carry groceries,” Budagher said. “The Lord put him in front of us.”
Denise Gutierrez, a victim assistance coordinator for Homeland Security Investigations, said she felt compelled to help as soon as she saw photos of Jose.
“I refused to believe that there was nothing we could do for this boy,” she said.
Gutierrez said the boy and his parents were granted a 45-day humanitarian visa for treatment in New Mexico, and a coalition of U.S. agencies led by Homeland Security Investigations began working to get them into the United States.
The church set up a donation fund to cover treatment costs for Jose, and doctors in New Mexico removed his tumor in November 2014.
In reality, Facebook never donates money to causes based on the number of likes or shares it receives. Facebook encourages users to report these scams whenever they see them.