In Depth

Who is Jayden K Smith? Facebook hoax fools users worldwide

A message warning people not to accept friendship requests from an unknown 'hacker' is going viral

Facebook users are being tricked into a sharing a hoax message, warning them not to accept friendship requests from "Jayden K Smith".

The message, being sent via Facebook Messenger, warns that the account belongs to a hacker who "has the system connected to your Facebook account".

But mass friend requests to unknown users is against Facebook's terms and conditions, and in any case a would-be hacker would not be able to hack into an account just by becoming a friend.

This hasn't stopped the message gaining widespread traction online.

It reads: "Please tell all the contacts in your Messenger list, not to accept Jayden K Smith friendship request. He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it. Thanks. Forwarded as received."

Reports of the 'Jayden K Smith' message are popping up all over the world. "This viral message isn't smart," says Mashable, but it seems to be designed to "take advantage of a critical nexus of (the lack of) hacking knowledge."

"Many people don't know how hacking works and many people are also understandably afraid of being hacked," the website adds.

It's an old format "that often gets recycled online, with different variations of the name," says the Daily Telegraph. "The message does contain many of the elements of a viral hoax: a sensational warning, the prospect of devastating consequences, and a prompt to share it widely."

Even so, says the Daily Mirror "it is not clear what the purpose of the hoax is, other than to make people who fall for it look silly".

On the positive side, the message has spawned a number of Twitter jokes and memes:

Recommended

‘Drip drip hooray’
Today’s newspaper front pages
Today’s newspapers

‘Drip drip hooray’

Cats grounded in German town
A cat inside a box
Tall Tales

Cats grounded in German town

Was attempted FBI break-in linked to Trump raid?
FBI director Christopher Wray
Speed Reads

Was attempted FBI break-in linked to Trump raid?

How the UK’s droughts compare with the rest of the world
Low water levels at Baitings Reservoir in West Yorkshire
Global lens

How the UK’s droughts compare with the rest of the world

Popular articles

Why The Satanic Verses is still controversial
Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses
Getting to grips with . . .

Why The Satanic Verses is still controversial

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 15 August 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 15 August 2022

The Week Footer Banner