If you are one of the numerous people who blindly share Facebook posts about celebrities or sends those chain Facebook Messenger posts without checking their veracity, this one’s for you.
Remember a few years ago when a rumor spread on Facebook that Tyler Perry was buying American Airlines? Remember how people kept spreading that rumor despite the fact there was no legacy media coverage of it? A quick Google search will show you how many outlets still have posts up about it even though it has long since been debunked.
When these things happen, it shines a bright spotlight on the lack of general media literacy. It also puts pressure on celebrities, sometimes forcing them to have to clear their name about a rumor they had nothing to do with.
Such is the case with Tyler Perry.
There is a new information phishing scam making its way around Facebook. It involves a lie that Tyler Perry is giving away $1 million, with some variations saying he is giving away cars, homes and more. Fake pages are being passed around that are requesting personal information from those gullible enough to believe that if Perry were giving away money—or anything else—he would be doing it through something as bootleg as a Facebook page.
Perry himself took to Instagram Tuesday to dispel this latest rumor.
“I am not giving away anything on Facebook,” Perry says in the video he posted to his personal Instagram account. “I am not giving away any money. My team has to shut down these things every day. There’s a new one popping up. Do not give your information to any of these people. Do not … give them anything. I don’t know who they are, but every day we have to get 10, 20, 30 of those things shut down on Facebook. I am not giving away anything. This is Tyler Perry. I’m not giving away anything. Please do me a favor: post this everywhere so people will know that it’s not true.”
“Listen, in my life, I’m a giver,” Perry continued. “I give a lot of things to a lot of people, to a lot of employees, random things—cars, houses—that I do. But that is not true, O.K.? The Facebook stuff? I’m not giving away anything. Stop it.”
So there you have it. Please stop spreading these stories.
And in the future? At least do a little digging before you circulate any others like it.