While social media is a place of many bizarre hoaxes, a new Facebook hoax doing the rounds recently has users, tech experts and the company itself scratching their heads. And much of it seems to revolve around the mysterious FB account of a person called ‘Selene Degado Lopez’.
As per reports from Facebook users across the world, Lopez is everyone’s friend on Facebook. Yours too. The strange part? You can’t unfriend her.
[q]Who is Selene Delgado Lopez?[/q]
[ans]Earlier in the week, users of the Mark Zuckerberg-owned platform Facebook began to notice a strange phenomenon. They all seemed to be friends with a woman named ‘Selene Delgado Lopez’. The Facebook account features the image of a smiling woman with short hair wearing an orange sweater as the DP. Her Facebook profile says she is a resident of León, a city in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato. Not much else is known about Lopez.[/ans]
[q]Why is Selene Delgado Lopez in news?[/q]
[ans]Last week, several Facebook users noticed a strange coincidence. It turned out that many people were friends with Lopez, despite never having met her, known her or even heard of her. The strange part? There seemed to be to no option to “unfriend”. Several posts regarding Lopez appeared on Reddit, Facebook and other platforms like Twitter with confused Facebook users wanting to find out more about this mysterious “friend” and also more on how to unfriend her.[/ans]
[q]So is Selene Delgado Lopez your Facebook friend?[/q]
[ans]Turns out, no. As a report in Forbes explains, Lopez’s account is actually is a hoax. This is the reason she can’t be unfriended. What gave it away? After initial claims of Lopez penetrating through everyone’s friendliest, many people searched their own FB profiles for a profile with that name to check if she was their friend too. As it turned out, many were led to a profile that did not have the “Add Friend” option. Though it was not a “Page” but a person’s account, it directly displayed the “send message” option instead of the “Add Friend” option.[/ans]
[q]Is Selene Delgado Lopez really on everyone’s friend list?[/q]
[ans]A little research into the matter proved that it was highly unlikely that Lopez was on everyone’s friend list, considering their are millions of users and the platform only allows one person to add up to 5,000 friends per account.[/ans]
[q]Why can’t you add Lopez as your friend?[/q]
[ans]Some Facebook users can edit their profiles to limit the “Add Friend” option to friends of friends. A user with no common friends with a person with such a profile only gets the “send message” option. In case they want to become friends with the person on FB, they have to send the person a message and get them to send a friend request instead. [/ans]
[q]So is who is Selene Delgado Lopez, really?[/q]
[ans]Well, this is where fact ends and speculation begins. While multiple accounts by the name of Lopez now exist since the hoax went viral, the creator of the account seemed to know what they were doing. As Mexicans might be aware, Lopez’s name is already part of urban legend. According to reports, a woman by that name had disappeared in Mexico around 30 years ago. Her name was featured in the missing person segment in between ad breaks that appeared on a Mexican news channel, Canal 5, Mashable reported. The video was published online for a short time recently before it was taken down as part of the channel’s latest promotional tactics in which they posted ‘creepy’ video content on social media at 3 am at night, only to delete the posts later. The tactic proved to work and Canal 5 trended on several social media platforms. It is after this that the fake accounts with the signature photo are believed to have mushroomed.[/ans]
[q]Should you be worried of Selene Delgado Lopez?[/q]
[ans]While the hoax itself is not harmful right now, its ability to go viral at such a short time does pose a cybersecurity threat. While the accounts of Lopez currently appear to be innocent, they might soon start spreading misinformation or include links that can take unsuspecting users to internet scams.[/ans]