Stop The Presses: Abraham Lincoln Didn’t Invent Facebook

By Julie D. Andrews 

Some brands and companies struggle to get likes. Yet in one day, a Facebook page announcing what turned out to be a hoax accumulated roughly 4,000 likes and some 30,000 views.

The Atlantic Wire reported that Milwaukee resident Nate St. Pierre fabricated a tale of finding evidence that showed Abraham Lincoln to have filed a patent for Facebook in 1845, but The Next Web fell for it hook, line, and sinker, posting the initial headline, “Move over Zuck, Abraham Lincoln filed a patent for Facebook in 1845,” later tacking on, “[Updated: Fake].”

As the story went, St. Pierre visited a graveyard, and then visited the Lincoln Library in Springfield, Ill., and discovered that Lincoln filed a patent application for a newspaper that would “keep people connected through profiles and updates.”

One short call to the Lincoln Library by The Atlantic Wire outed the scam. Way to fact-check, The Next Web!

“This is a complete hoax,” David Blanchette of the Lincoln Library said of St. Pierre’s claim that the library aided in his “discovery.” “We had nothing to do with it.”

Oh yes, and the picture of Lincoln on the Springfield Gazette page published by St. Pierre — “They didn’t run pictures in newspapers back then,” Blanchette added.

Readers: Have you or any of your friends or relatives ever fallen for a Facebook hoax?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.