Sorry, Facebook Doesn’t Have a #HocusPocus Witch Checker
If you see it on Facebook, it must be true - right?
NO! WRONG WRONG WRONG!
I saw this in my timeline and immediately thought: red flag. But hey, you never know. Sometimes Google offers up fun things on google.com around the holidays so maybe it was legit. So, I did it.
HMF! Not a witch.
Then I wondered if it worked for anyone and comment after comment said - nope, not a witch. A quick Google search revealed that truthorfiction.com listed this as a prank. They went on to say that the green bars that some commenters posted were fake.
The likeliest explanation that a green bar appeared in a handful of comments was that the users were copying and pasting the image — sometimes selecting a humorous variant, as is common in meme culture. An outlying possibility for a device quirk allowing the hashtag generation of images in comments was possible, but both unlikely and uncommon.
They went on to explain that the post is used to trick people into engaging with a particular brand so that the Facebook algorithm would be more likely to share their actual content to more fans.
In October 2019, it appeared the meme (or prank) had been repurposed to leverage Halloween-based enthusiasm as well as love for the film Hocus Pocus. But as with the original version, typing #HocusPocus didn’t actually work — the “witch” graphic was typically copied and pasted by users in on the joke. Although the “witch finder” status update meme is clearly effective as engagement bait for businesses on Facebook, it is not a particularly entertaining game for participants who were misled to believe that the posts were legitimate and not either pranks, or attempts to game interaction from readers not in on the joke.
There you have it. You might be a witch after all. And Facebook won't out you.
And, just so you know, here at Townsquare Media we'll never trick you into engaging with our posts but gosh darn it, we work hard to bring you the best content from the tri-state and we love hearing from you!