Description: Online hoax / Medical appeal
Circulating since: Aug. 2005
Status: Real photo / False description (see details below)
As posted on Facebook, April 5, 2012:
Face book is donateing 3$ for every share.. A doller for every like.. Come on people it takes a few seconds of your time!
Analysis: Don't believe it, and for heaven's sake don't share it. Facebook is rife with what have come to be called "baby charity scams," all of which claim that Facebook or some other organization will donate X amount of money to a sick or dying child each time the posting is shared or "liked." Without exception, they're hoaxes. Facebook doesn't condone or participate in such schemes. No reputable companies do.
The photo in this particular example is authentic and dates from 2005, when it circulated as an attachment to a chain email pledging a (bogus) 3-cent donation on behalf of a (real) injured child named Alexandra ("Ola" or "Olenka") Kuczma for each time the message was forwarded. Fourteen-month-old Kuczma was critically burned in 2005 when a fire broke out in her family's home in southern Poland. She is now (as of this writing) seven years old.
More charity chain letter hoaxes:
• Share This to Help Save Baby with Cancer
• 14-Year-Old Boy Beaten Half-Dead by Stepfather
• 100 Facebook Shares to Help Sick Boy Get Heart Transplant
• Amy Bruce 'Dying Child' Chain Letter
• Timothy Flyte 'Dying Child' Chain Letter
• Jessica Mydek 'Dying Child' Chain Letter
Sources and further reading:
Alexandra 'Ola' Kuczma Chain Letter
Urban Legends, September 2005
Krakow: Ola Fake Mail Circulating on the Internet for 6 Years. Police Are Helpless
NaszeMiasto.pl (in Polish), 24 October 2011
Anti-Scam Sites Petition Against Facebook Baby Charity Scams
ZDNet.com, 13 March 2012
Last updated 04/11/12