Hope you sit down because I’m about to drop a bomb that’s going to make you look like the exploding head emoji. Ready? Here we are. I’m going to tear the bandage into three … two … Not everything people share on social media is true.
Are you OK? Do you need a glass of water? Maybe a cool towel to put on your forehead? I could say I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but that would be a lie. Truth be told, I’m happy to do so if it helps people stop sharing the wrong information. Chances are it isn’t, but a guy can dream, right?
The reason I’m bringing this to your attention is that I recently saw someone share a meme that said,
Your PSA for today:
The recent FB update added this new functionality for mobile FB users. Since that update, a lot of my friends have landed in FB Prison multiple times (yes, it’s a real place and there are no fair trial or bailout options!). It seems that many of us accidentally “report a problem” and our friends get thrown in jail.
How can you fix it?
When you are on FB, shake your phone until it appears. Then slide that “shake phone to report a problem” button to OFF!
CRAZY that none of us knew this was added and was automatically activated with the update
Fix Your Phones … Let’s Keep Our Friends Out of FB Prison!
The person who shared it claimed in their status that they had tried it and it worked. I’m pretty sure I shook my head, rolled my eyes and let out a small laugh. “How gullible can people be? ” I was thinking. But, I didn’t want to just brush the person off like crazy, so I opened up my Facebook app and shook it like I was making a margarita expecting nothing to happen.
But then it popped up on my screen (or as they say on social media – What happened next was absolutely mind blowing!):
Eh. I hadn’t seen it coming.
That’s when I believe the person I saw sharing this took it as a gospel, stopped what they were doing, quickly turned the feature off, and walked through Facebooktown (that’s everyone’s News Feed) to alert innocent city dwellers of another feature. Facebook’s evil overlords sneaked in while we weren’t careful like some kind of whistleblower superhero.
(Conscious thought flow: If none of us trust Facebook, why are we all using it? Another thought for another time, maybe.)
I took a slightly different path.
What the meme gets
Obviously, the first sentence of the meme is true. The functionality clearly exists. A quick Google search, “shaking your phone while you are on facebook“caused pages to appear on results pages. It turns out the feature has been around for a while, as has the warning meme that it’s used to suspend user accounts.
Facebook “quietly” rolled out the feature to mobile users over two years ago in May 2019, according to to Snopes. The reason is that Facebook wanted to make it as easy as possible for users to report an issue like a bug or something that isn’t working as it should, according to a post they cite. from Engaget. Apparently, tapping the three lines in the lower right corner of the screen, scrolling down to the Help and Support section, and tapping Report a Problem were just too many steps for some people. If I can borrow from another piece of viral content, “Nobody has time for this.”
What the meme is wrong
Basically anything beyond the first sentence. Shaking your phone won’t automatically send your friend into the dark and cold abyss that is “Facebook Prison”. To begin with, which friend would he send? The one whose post is in the middle of your screen? The one above? The one below?
Second, enabling the feature does not automatically flag the issue you are having. There are still steps to be taken. You need to press the big blue Report Problem button first and then you get to that screen where you tell customer service exactly what the problem is and share a screenshot if you want.
Finally, if someone on your feed has shared something that you find offensive, or that you don’t think you need to be on Facebook for some reason, just under the blue button is a link where you can learn how to report abuse. , including the steps you need to take to do so.
The point is, even if you somehow managed to get the option of spawning while your phone was in your pocket or purse, it would still take a few steps that would require your thumbs up. press the button and type a message. It is extremely unlikely, dare I say, impossible, that this will happen.
I want to be clear on something before I close. I’m not trying to defend Facebook here. If the recent whistleblower story it must be believed, they are not afraid to engage in shady practices. However, in my opinion, and based on the research I have done, this does not appear to be one of those cases.
Let me leave you with this little tip, if you don’t mind. Before you blindly share something on social media because it appears to be true, and part of it is backed up by physical evidence like this, take a few minutes to do a little research to verify that it is. is the first. If more of us were doing this, maybe we could clean up the cesspool of social media, one fake meme at a time.