Fact Check

Facebook Page Created Before Tragedy

A Facebook page whose creation date is earlier than the occurrence of a tragedy proves it was a planned and staged event?

Published Apr 15, 2013

Virus:   A Facebook page whose creation date is earlier than the occurrence of a tragedy proves the event was a planned and staged one.


Examples:   [Collected via e-mail, April 2013]

Here’s more “make crazy” weirdness about the Sandy Hook massacre:

We now know of four condolence/donation websites and pages that were created 1-3 days BEFORE the massacre.

A few minutes ago I posted a link to a FB page called "Thoughts Go Out To All Involved In The Boston Explosions." The page was created TWO DAYS AGO.


Origins:   A common conspiracy claim now circulated in the wake of deadly attacks such as the Sandy Hook school shooting and the Boston Marathon bombing is to claim that some of the various Facebook pages that inevitably spring up in the aftermath of those tragedies (e.g., memorials, tributes, condolences, and donation sites for victims) bear "Joined Facebook" dates earlier than the events they reference, thereby supposedly proving that those tragic events were planned and coordinated by some sinister force (usually said to be the government) with a motive for deflecting blame away from the "real perpetrators."

The fact is that "Joined Facebook" dates by themselves do not provide reliable timelines: Facebook pages which were initially created prior to particular events for other reasons and then renamed/repurposed after those events will retain their original pre-tragedy dates, and comments indicating that a Facebook page name change occurred can be deleted by the manager of that page.

Last updated:   15 April 2013

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.