No, Zuckerberg isn't giving away millions to Facebook users

If you forwarded a chain message on Facebook that claimed that Mark Zuckerberg is giving away US$4.5 million (S$6.4 million) each to 1,000 people, you ought to know that it's a hoax.

Yes, he did announce that he and his wife plan to donate 99 per cent of of their Facebook shares, worth about US$45 billion, in honour of their new daughter. But, no, 10 per cent of that sum is NOT going to 1,000 ordinary Facebook users, as one chain message would have you believe.

Media outlets reported that the hoax post has gone viral. The Washington Post said that the original post read: "Mark Zuckerberg has announced that he is giving away $45 billion of Facebook stock. What you may not have heard is that he plans to give 10 per cent of it away to people like YOU and ME! All you have to do is copy and paste this message into a post IMMEDIATELY and tag 5-10 of your friends. At midnight PST, Facebook will search through the day's posts and award 1000 people with $4.5 million EACH as a way of saying thank you for making Facebook such a powerful vehicle for connection and philanthropy. I hope someone I know gets a piece of the pie - let me know if you do!!!"

Later variations of the post included how some people who thought that it was a hoax became convinced after seeing it on TV.

CNBC said that a Facebook spokesman has denied the claim.

sinsh@sph.com.sg