Typing 'BFF' to see if it turns green does not show if your Facebook account is secure

A viral post on Facebook claimed that you can check if your account is protected by typing BFF in a comment.
A viral post on Facebook claimed that you can check if your account is protected by typing BFF in a comment.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - If you use Facebook regularly, chances are that you will have seen this viral post this week claiming that you can check if your account is protected simply by typing in the word "BFF".

The post, which has been reposted and shared tens of thousands of times, includes a photo of Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

It reads: "Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, invented the word BFF. To make sure your account is safe on Facebook, type BFF in a comment. If it appears green, your account is protected. If it does not appear in green, change your password immediately because it will be hacked."

One post by Facebook user Remee Dayao-Centeno, made on March 19, has been shared more than 13,000 times.

The comment section is filled with users typing the word, with some turning green while others remain in the default black font.

While the social media giant has not officially commented on the matter, tech sites have debunked the claim that typing out a green BFF means your account is secure.

Myth-busting site Snopes said in an article on Thursday that the claim is false.

 

"The origin of the claim remains unclear, but like many other rumours about Facebook features, it spread far and fast," said Snopes.

The typing of the term appears to trigger an animation. However, it is not an indication of account security.

Additionally, if you typed the word and it did not turn green, it does not mean your account has been compromised. Rather, it is more likely due to browser settings, Snopes said.

The feature is called "Text Delight", and there are several commands that can be typed in for a variety of animations, according to tech news site TechNave.

After typing in a command that activates an animation, there is a "remove text effects" feature linked to your comment.

Online publishing site Medium.com provides a list of several possible commands and animations. These include "congratulations", which triggers an animation of confetti, and "best wishes", which prompts an animation of two hands releasing colourful shapes that float upwards.