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Facebook Hoax: 14-Year-Old Shot 6 Times by Stepfather

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As shared on Facebook, Nov. 14, 2011:
14 year old boy was shot 6 times by his stepfather

Netlore Archive: Viral wall posting claims Facebook has promised to donate 45 cents every time the message is shared to defray the medical expenses of a 14-year-old boy allegedly "shot 6 times" (or "beaten half dead") by his stepfather.

Description: Viral wall posting / Facebook hoax
Circulating since: Nov. 2011
Status: FALSE (see details below)

Example #1:
As shared on Facebook, May 21, 2012:

14 YEAR OLD BOY WAS SHOT 6 TIMES BY HIS STEPFATHER . THIS BOY WAS PROTECTING HIS LITTLE 6 YEAR OLD SISTER WHO WAS ABOUT TO BE RAPED BY THIS POOR ... EXCUSE OF A MAN . THE LITTLE GIRL DID NOT GET HURT , THANKS TO HER BRAVE OLDER BROTHER . THEIR MOM WAS AT WORK WHEN THIS HAPPENED . NOW THIS BRAVE YOUNG LITTLE BOY IS FIGHTING FOR HIS LIFE , BUT DOCTORS SAY HE WILL NOT SURVIVE UNLESS HE GETS AN OPERATION WHICH IS COSTLY AND HIS MOM CANNOT PAY . ALL FACE BOOK COMPANIES HAVE AGREED TO DONATE 45 CENTS FOR EVERY TIME SOMEONE POSTS THIS TO THEIR WALL . SO , PLEASE SHARE THIS ON YOUR WALL . SO , THAT TOGETHER WE CAN HELP SAVE THIS BOYS LIFE . I PASSED THIS MESSAGE DOWN. & "SHARE" FOR A LITTLE LIFE.


Example #2:
As shared on Facebook, Oct. 28, 2011:

14 YEAR OLD BOY WAS SHOT 6 TIMES BY HIS STEPFATHER, THIS BOY WAS PROTECTING HIS LITTLE 2 YEAR OLD SISTER WHO WAS ABOUT TO BE RAPED BY THIS POOR EXCUSE OF A MAN. THE LITTLE GIRL DID NOT GET HURT THANKS TO HER BRAVE OLDER BROTHER. THEIR MOM WAS AT WORK WHEN ALL THIS HAPPENED. NOW THIS BRAVE YOUNG MAN IS FIGHTING FOR HIS LIFE, BUT DOCTORS SAY HE WILL NOT SURVIVE UNLESS HE GETS AN OPERATION WHICH IS VERY COSTFUL AND WHICH HIS MOM CANNOT PAY. ALL FACEBOOK COMPANIES HAVE AGREED TO DONATE 45 CENTS FOR EVERY TIME SOMEONE POSTS THIS TO THEIR WALL, SO PLEASE PASTE AND PASS THIS ON SO THAT TOGETHER WE CAN HELP SAVE THIS BOYS LIFE


Example #3:
As shared on Facebook, Nov. 14, 2011:

A 14 years old boy got beaten half dead by his stepfather. He only tried to protect his little sister from being raped. Now he's struggling for his life, but doctors say he won't make it without a surgery. His mother doesn't have money to pay it. Facebook donates 45 cents for every sharing or reposting. Please help.



Analysis: The abused child isn't named, nor is any date or location specified — indeed, this posting contains no corroborating information whatsoever — yet we're supposed to believe Facebook has promised to donate money to defray the victim's medical costs every time the message is shared.

Moreover, two different versions of the story exist. One claims the victim was "beaten half dead" by his stepfather. The other claims he was shot six times.

What isn't wrong with this picture?

Like previous viral postings falsely claiming that companies or charities will donate a specific amount of money each time someone forwards or shares the plea, this message is a blatant hoax. Facebook has announced no such commitment. No reputable organizations use chain letters to distribute charitable funds.

Image stolen from Czech newspaper

As to the image above purporting to show the alleged victim of parental violence, it appears to have been stolen from a May 19, 2010 article in the Czech tabloid newspaper Blesk describing a criminal attack on a 13-year-old boy by multiple assailants in Teplice, Czech Republic.


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Last updated 01/17/14

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